Ani Hasanah

Ani Hasanah

15
November

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has conveyed his support for the peace of South Korea and North Korea at the 20th ASEAN-South Korea Summit in Singapore.


"Amidst many uncertainties, there are some hopes. Among other things are hopes for a safe and stable Korean Peninsula. This new hope will not be possible unless there is strong determination from President Moon to seek peace," Jokowi said at the Suntec Convention Center on Wednesday.


According to the president, Indonesia welcomed the development of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, and this is greatly appreciated by the world.


Indonesia has been a fellow country of the two Koreas since decades.


"Indonesia fully supports the peace process. This support has been delivered consistently, among others, during my meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister and North Korea`s Special Envoy ahead of the opening of the Asian Games on Aug 18," the president remarked in a statement delivered by the Deputy Protocol, Press and Media at the Presidential Secretariat, Bey Machmudin.


The president asserted that the peace process needs time to create peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Indonesia will remain committed to support and contribute to peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula, Jokowi added.


In particular, he also submitted a proposal to invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to commemorate 30 years of cooperation between ASEAN and South Korea in 2019 if all positive developments continue.


"Hopefully, with this meeting, North Korea`s commitment to take steps towards a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula will be stronger. In the future, God willing, we will see ASEAN and the two Koreas as important pillars in the regional architecture of peace and partnership to maintain stability, security, and prosperity together," the president pointed out at the meeting.


Jokowi attended the 20th ASEAN-South Korea Summit, which was led by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Moon Jae-in.


The Head of State was also present at several ASEAN summits with partner countries, such as Australia, China, and Russia. (ANTARA)

15
November

Padjadjaran University’s International Relations Expert Teuku Rezasyah opined it is time for Indonesia to build dialog with influential countries, including the United States, China, Japan, and Australia, in the region to equate the Indo-Pacific concept.


"Continue to build dialogue with the United States, the People`s Republic of China, Japan, and Australia to increase bilateral trade and their investment in Indonesia," Rezasyah remarked when contacted in Singapore on Wednesday.


Indonesia must then build a period of mutual trust that the Indo-Pacific will not harm the four aforementioned countries in the long run.


"In particular, Indonesia has mobilized the ASEAN to jointly change the name of the Indo-Pacific to the Pacific-Indo, so as not to again give an impression as an architecture made in the United States," he noted.


In connection with Indonesia`s efforts to finalize the idea of the Indo-Pacific, the first is to take into account the perceptions of various ministries and institutions in the Indonesian bureaucracy, as this Indo-Pacific idea intersects with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Regional Closer Economic Cooperation, and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement being increasingly used to form a legal framework and was well promoted.


"Then, create a blueprint of Indonesia`s involvement in various regional economic structures, with Indonesia as an active and balancing actor from various scenarios of economic competition in many large countries at once," he noted.


President Joko Widodo had earlier discussed the development of the concept of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region during the plenary session of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit at the Suntec Convention Center, Singapore.


"In order for centrality to be maintained, there is no other way for ASEAN except to use the East Asia Summit as the main platform for discussing this concept," the president noted in a speech on Tuesday night.


The uncertain conditions and magnitude of the challenges faced in the Indo-Pacific region can pose a threat to peace, stability, and prosperity in relation to the constellation of global powers.


The president added that ASEAN`s position in the Indo-Pacific region must be able to become a hub, play its role, and turn threats into increased cooperation.


"The ASEAN must remain a driver for peace and prosperity. The ASEAN must be able to turn potential threats into cooperation, the potential for tension to become peace," Jokowi noted.


In the meantime, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi unveiled the Southeast Asian state`s Indo-Pacific cooperation concept that is based on the principles of being open, transparent, and inclusive; promoting the habit of dialogue, cooperation, and friendship; and upholding international law.


According to Marsudi, the concept was developed in recognition of the need for ASEAN to respond with a united front to emerging regional issues, thereby preserving the bloc`s centrality.


The Indo-Pacific concept also aims to link new Indian Ocean investments with mature investments in the Asia-Pacific, she stated.


This Indo-Pacific concept -- stressing ASEAN unity and centrality -- has received positive responses from ASEAN member states and the bloc`s dialogue partners, with Indonesia planning to table the strategy as the main agenda item at the upcoming 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) in November 2018.


Indonesia`s proposal of an ASEAN Indo-Pacific concept is significant for three reasons.

Jakarta`s role in conceptualizing the concept and seeking agreement from ASEAN and its dialogue partners cements its status as the unofficial leader of ASEAN and as a global middle power.


While ASEAN traditionally eschews the delineation of a leader among its 10 states, Indonesia -- being the largest member both in geographical size and population, as well as being one of ASEAN`s founding states -- has long been viewed as having both the clout and capacity to spearhead critical regional initiatives.


The articulation of an Indo-Pacific strategy also speaks to Indonesia`s branding of itself internationally as a global maritime axis. This perpetuates Jakarta`s vision of being the -- Global Maritime Fulcrum -- with key policy thrusts of ramping up naval capabilities, enhancing maritime trade and connectivity, and safeguarding marine resources in its territorial waters.


At the regional level, the Indo-Pacific cooperation concept is significant, as it entrenches ASEAN centrality by placing ASEAN in the driver`s seat in managing regional geopolitics and addressing the multifaceted security and economic challenges. (ANTARA)

14
November

The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on a single negotiating text draft of the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea (SCS), as an effort to resolve dispute in the region.


The statement was made by Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi after attending the 18th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council Meeting at Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore, on Tuesday.


The first reading between ASEAN and China for the single draft negotiation document will be carried out next year.


"Previously, ASEAN member states and China had their own negotiation documents, but now it has become a single document that we agreed on," Marsudi said.


The single document will help ASEAN to negotiate with China regarding the settlement of the South China Sea dispute.


Previously, Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto stated the South China Sea dispute must be resolved peacefully by respecting the agreed conditions.


"The South China Sea dispute must be resolved peacefully. Respect existing provisions, do not have provocations and actions that provoke conflict," Wiranto said.


"We all agree to not let the warring countries enter into conflict areas," he continued.


In addition, Indonesia encourages the completion of various agreements that lead to a comprehensive settlement.


"But it is not easy because each (country) has an interest in the South China Sea," Wiranto said. (ANTARA)

14
November

President Joko Widodo highlighted developments in the concept of Indo-Pacific regional cooperation during the plenary session of the 33rd ASEAN Summit held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center in Singapore on Tuesday night.


"To maintain its centrality, ASEAN has no other choice but to use the East Asia Summit as a main platform to discuss this concept," President Joko Widodo or Jokowi as he commonly known said in his address to the session.


The uncertain condition and big challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region may threaten peace, stability and prosperity with regard to tug of war in the constellation of global force, he said.


The Indonesian leader said ASEAN which is situated in the Indo-Pacific region must be able to serve as an axis, play its role and turn threats into increased cooperation.


"ASEAN must always serve as the engine of peace and welfare. It must be able to change potential threats into cooperation and potential tension into peace," he said.


The Indo-Pacific concept could be developed through increased cooperation which puts emphasis on the principles of transparency and respect for international law, he said.

He said ASEAN needs to develop Indo-Pacific cooperation by emphasizing respect for international law and ASEAN centrality.


He warmly welcomed ASEAN member states` positive responses to the Indo-Pacific concept which is adopted as an ASEAN joint concept.


"I am happy that the draft joint concept has been discussed and God willing it can be agreed upon soon. We also have held informal consultations with ASEAN partner countries," he said.


He added the innovative outlook will direct ASEAN cooperation in the future with the Indo-Pacific region as a pro-strategic center to realize joint development and welfare. (ANTARA)