Indonesia and China: The Politics of a Troubled Relationship

Indonesia and China: The Politics of a Troubled Relationship

Indonesia and China: The Politics of a Troubled Relationship

Indonesia and China: The Politics of a Troubled Relationship

Synopsis

Investigating why Indonesia broke off relations with China in 1967 and resumed them in 1990, Sukma (Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta) sheds light on Indonesia's foreign policy, the nature of the New Order's domestic politics, the mixed functions of diplomatic ties, the legitimacy of the new regime, and the role of president Suharto. He argues that the breaking the diplomatic ties was part of the effort by the military-based New Order government to sustain its political legitimacy and counter domestic challenges by posing as the guardian of the state against communist threats. It also, he says, bolstered the army as the only defense against China. The restoring of ties he links to changes in the political power of the military and Suharto's new goals.
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