Archive for the ‘Asia’ category

Linggajati Agreement: First Achievement for Indonesian Diplomacy

August 15, 2009

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Written Aris Heru Utomo

The Linggajati Agreement was a key political accord in the struggle of Indonesia for Independence. When the Republic of Indonesia proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, right after Japanese surrender to the Allies, Colonialist Government of Dutch tried to regain control of the former East Indies by sending more troops to attack Indonesian strongholds. It was noticed that between 1945 and 1949 they undertook two military actions.

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2009 strategic political, economic trends in E. Asia (Part 2 of 2)

December 24, 2008

By Jusuf Wanandi

east-asiaLearning how to deal with each other as neighbors and major regional powers is critical not only for the two individual nations, but also for the broader region in general.

That is why regional cooperation institutions should assist them in finding the right modus vivendi. The role of the United States in supporting Japan is not helpful. It should be left to China and Japan to find the balance in their relationship.

In the early 1990s, following the bursting of its economic bubble, Japan entered a decade-long recession and deflation — a period that was prolonged by inadequate government policies, especially in the financial and banking sector. In the past few years, the economy has started to grow again, albeit slowly.

But now, again, Japan’s economy is in recession. Although the financial sector has been notably strengthened, dependency on exports is still high and demand has already slowed, while domestic consumption has not increased. Japan still faces several economic constraints, such as demographic problems including an aging society, inadequate productivity levels, low levels of foreign direct investment, rising poverty and worsening income inequality.

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Strategic trends in E. Asia (Part 1 of 2)

December 24, 2008

By Jusuf Wanandi

Strategic trends, namely how relations among the three big powers of the region (China, Japan and the United States) will unfold, will define future developments in East Asia.

China is doing well; it hosted the Olympic Games earlier this year and the world continues to talk about the nation’s excellent achievements. Despite the global financial crisis, China is forecasting economic growth of 8 percent for next year. This is a reduction from the current 11 percent, but still a very good achievement considering the circumstances.

Yet the crisis has yet to fully unfold and the extent of its damage remains something of a mystery. For China, global funds and foreign direct investment will be limited and exports will be curtailed because of the deep recessions that developed nations are facing. That is why China’s new policies, which will encourage domestic consumption and inject money into the banking system, are very wise.

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How East Asia is responding to global crisis

December 22, 2008

By Hadi Soesastro

In East Asia, South Korea was the first to be hit by the global crisis. A report by Citibank in early Oct. 2008 showed that in the region the S. Korean economy was the most vulnerable to external financial shocks, in terms of both the risk of a sudden stop and sudden reversal of financial flows.

Having experienced the 1997/1998 crisis, the region has established currency swap arrangements, known as the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), to help each other in the eventuality of another such crisis. Eight years have elapsed, and a crisis is looming, but it remains uncertain as to how this arrangement can be invoked and what would trigger its use.

S. Korea has not attempted to make use of the CMI to prevent a crisis from unfolding. Under the CMI, Korea can exchange a mere US$17 billion with Japan and China, and additional insignificant amounts with other ASEAN countries. In view of the magnitude of the potential problem, the size of the CMI is too small. But perhaps the main reason for not resorting to this arrangement was that the CMI is still “an initiative”.

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Indonesia’s Foreign Policy and the Meaning of ASEAN

December 8, 2008

by Jusuf Wanandi

Jusuf Wanandi is vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Indonesia’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Foundation and is a member of the (unrelated) Pacific Forum CSIS Board of Governors. This article originally appeared in The Jakarta Post.

 

It is an accepted wisdom that in international relations every nation pursues its own national interest. This notion is based on state sovereignty, the basis of relations between states since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

However, this principle has been eroded due to regional and international rules and institutions at the multilateral level, and civil societies and NGOs at the sub-national ones. Nonetheless, national interest and state sovereignty are still the central part of international relations, and it can be argued that globalization pressures, new threats of global/regional terrorism and threats of a non-conventional nature, such as pandemics, energy security and the environment, all will make the role of the state more important. (more…)

Is it time for the U.S to invade Burma/Myanmar ?

May 13, 2008

Written by Aris Heru Utomo 

Is it time to invade Burma? Actually the title in TIME should be “Is it time for the U.S to invade Burma? Since only the U.S have capabilities in leading invasion to other countries for a long time periode. Right now the U.S have theirown fleets in the Southeast Asia region and ready to deploy its troops in very short time.

Back to the question, I agree with the opinon of the majority of respondents in a poll counducted by TIME. Almost 72% of the 5857 respondents (as of 13 May, 01.A.M) says no to the option to invade Myanmar to distibute humanitarian aid. The Bush Administration itself has so far rejected the idea and prefer to have permission of Myanmar government. (more…)

Anambas Expedition: Diplomacy through Scientific Mission

April 6, 2008

Written by Aris Heru UtomoFree Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com 

In the 1990’s, political tension in the South China Sea was high. The dispute territorial claims in the South China Sea remain a dangerous source of potential conflict in the absence of preventive measures to forestall a military or political crisis. Six claimant countries, Brunei Darussalam, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam, have claims in this region and some of them have sent their military force to the region.

Considering this political situation, in 1990 Indonesia convened a first workshop to manage potential conflicts in the South China Sea. Regardless of the territorial disputes, Indonesia tried to find out ways to manage potential conflict and to find an area or areas in which everyone could agree to co-operate, no matter how small or how insignificant it might seem to be.

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