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Chinese investment in Indonesia is climbing. China became Indonesia’s second-largest source of foreign direct investment in 2017 and officials in Jakarta say that they expect Chinese capital inflows to continue to grow.
Yet Chinese investment is also viewed with suspicion and even animosity among some sections of the Indonesian population. It is often associated with the “threat” of communism and negative stereotypes about the dominance of ethnic Chinese business elites in the country. With the 2019 elections on the horizon, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has increasingly come under attack over what his opponents argue is his over-reliance on Chinese funds for infrastructure projects.
What does the trade and investment relationship between China and Indonesia actually look like? Will the issue of Chinese investment damage Jokowi’s electoral prospects? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issue and more with Dr Siwage Dharma Negara, senior research fellow and co-coordinator of the Indonesia Studies Programme at ISEAS- Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.
The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.
Photo by Antara.