07 January 2015
Since President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) assumed office, many have been wondering whether ASEAN will still be the cornerstone of Indonesia’s foreign policy or merely just a vacuous diplomatic formality.
ASEAN centrality has always been a dominant theme in Indonesian foreign policy. Despite deficiencies of ASEAN in providing Indonesia with a suitable dispute settlement mechanism with its members, Indonesia’s foreign-policy makers continued to maintain their usual stance emphasising ASEAN Centrality in its foreign policy. For example, ASEAN had paid little attention to Indonesia’s notes of protest during its boundary dispute over the Sipadan-Ligitan with Malaysia.
Indonesia’s interests have sometimes been compromised for the sake of ASEAN, such as its view on the adoption of a peacekeeping force within the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) framework. Nevertheless, during Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration (2004-2014), ASEAN Centrality had been the main thrust of his policy of ‘dynamic equilibrium’ that sought to promote the grouping as the main vehicle of the evolving regional architecture in the Asia Pacific Region.
…Emirza Adi Syailendra is a Research Analyst with the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015