Power Play

Indonesia - navigating the undercurrents of superpower rivalry

The recent sinking of a submarine has turned the spotlight on the Indonesian military’s shortcomings. But it also reveals Jakarta’s ability to make good use of the politics of aid offered by the United States and China.

The Indonesian Navy's KRI Singa-651 leaves the Tanjung Wangi port in Banyuwangi, East Java Province, during the search for the missing KRI Nanggala-402 submarine on April 24, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Power Play is a weekly column that looks at various facets of US-China rivalry and its implications for Asia.

When Mr Joko Widodo, or Jokowi as he is better known, was first elected President in 2014, he unveiled a grand vision to transform the Indonesian Navy into a regional maritime power.

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