Building the new capital has been delayed until Indonesia’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. That, however, could take several years, although the government will still likely push for construction to begin before the end of Jokowi’s term in office.
The discussions are part of an effort by the US to bring together a collective stance against China’s activities in the South China Sea. In the short-term future, however, it is unlikely that Washington will actually become the driving force behind such a coalition.
The timing of Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto’s visit to India highlights shared concerns about China. It is becoming more apparent that closer strategic co-operation is increasingly in the interests of both countries.
Through the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), Indonesia looks to benefit most from potentially greater Australian investment in the education sector and the provision of skills training. COVID-19, however, puts significant challenges in the way of achieving those goals.
Indonesia’s defence forces suffer from a lack of modern equipment. The government is currently weighing up options for further upgrades from the United States and Russia.
The Indonesian Government has begun easing restrictions as daily cases continue to increase. While it is difficult to gauge the impact of that move, prospective presidential candidates are already vying to benefit from perceptions of government incompetence.
The Indonesian central government must enact strong nationwide policies if it is to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The bilateral relationship will endure through close economic ties but is unlikely to expand significantly beyond that sphere.
If approved, Indonesia’s claim on the Eauripik Rise north of Papua could become a source of short-term friction in the South Pacific. It is unlikely those claims will have long-lasting ramifications, however, given that the Indonesian Government is in a good position to negotiate on them.
Palm oil exports from Indonesia and Malaysia may become more vulnerable targets for retaliatory measures from India and China in the future.