Indonesia's big-hearted spirit in Asean

Indonesia's generosity as a big country has shaped the region. A new book by former Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa maps out challenges the grouping faces in the future.

Just as we, in Singapore, don't appreciate the clean air we breathe until the haze from Sumatra descends upon us, we also don't appreciate the geopolitical calm we enjoy in South-east Asia until the geopolitical haze comes.

This geopolitical haze is coming. Having devoted the first six months of my sabbatical this year to studying United States-China relations, I have no doubt that US-China rivalry will rise in the coming years. South-east Asia will be directly affected by this rivalry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2018, with the headline 'Indonesia's big-hearted spirit in Asean'. Print Edition | Subscribe