Siwage Dharma Negara

Siwage Dharma Negara

Senior Fellow, ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute

Dr Siwage Dharma Negara is an ISEAS senior fellow, tbe co-coordinator of the institute's Indonesia Studies Programme, and the coordinator of the APEC Study Centre.


Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and Indonesia's President-elect Prabowo Subianto shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 1 April 2024. (China Daily via Reuters)

Indonesia's Prabowo solidifying domestic legitimacy with visits to China, Japan and Malaysia

A defence minister’s courtesy calls take on a different significance, albeit only slightly, when he will take over as Indonesia’s president in a matter of months.
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto (left) speaks during a televised debate with his opponents Ganjar Pranowo (centre) and Anies Baswedan (right) at the Istora Senayan stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 7 January 2024. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

Will the 'China factor' become an election issue in Indonesia?

Indonesia’s economic relationship with China is occasionally marred by deadly accidents at Chinese-built and owned industrial sites in the archipelago. Nevertheless, economic cooperation with China is not going to slow down, no matter who wins the election next month.
Members of the Muslim community protest against a government plan to develop the Rempang Island into a Chinese-funded economic zone that would displace around 7,500 people, near the Presidential Palace in Bogor on 24 September 2023. (Aditya Aji/AFP)

Why has Batam’s Rempang Eco-City national project become a controversy?

Unhappiness among villagers in Rempang, close to Batam island, has led to riots in Batam City and threatens existing and future foreign investment. A small but diminishing window exists in which the local and central governments can improve their approach towards convincing residents of the need to relocate for a better future.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo at Ecosperity 2023 at the Marina Bay Sands Sands Expo & Convention Centre on 7 June 2023. (SPH Media)

Should Indonesia join BRICS?

Much has been said about BRICS potentially expanding its membership to countries such as Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain and Indonesia. Indonesian academic Siwage Negara explains the draw of joining BRICS from Indonesia’s perspective.
Employees react amid the chaos as Chinese and Indonesian workers clash at a nickel smelter in Morowali, Sulawesi, Indonesia in this undated social media video released 16 January 2023. (Revi Limbong via Reuters)

Workers' riot in a Chinese nickel company in Indonesia: Could it have been prevented?

A recent conflict between Indonesian workers and Chinese workers at a nickel smelter in Indonesia's North Morowali regency brings into focus several issues concerning Chinese investments in Indonesia, poor working environments, and bad treatment of local workers. Authorities must carefully manage the issue of migrant workers and balance national policy goals with local communities' interests.
President Xi Jinping of China (left) is greeted by the President of the Indonesian Republic Joko Widodo during the formal welcome ceremony to mark the beginning of the G20 Summit on 15 November 2022 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. (Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters)

Indonesian elites and the general public have different views of China

Presidents Xi Jinping and Joko Widodo witnessed the test "ride" of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail (HSR) via livestream during Chinese President Xi's visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit in Bali. Economic cooperation remain high on the cards of bilateral relations, but while China’s trade and investment in Indonesia have grown substantially since the early 2000s, the Indonesian public does not share Jakarta’s desire to wholeheartedly embrace Beijing.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects an area that will be the site of the new capital city, during sunrise in Penajam Paser Utara regency, East Kalimantan province, Indonesia, 15 March 2022. (Courtesy of Agus Suparto/Indonesian Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters)

Will China invest in Indonesia's new capital 'Nusantara'?

Amid fears of an increasing dependence on China being played up with regards to foreign investment for Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan, one must first ask if Indonesia offers an attractive enough proposition for Chinese (and other) investors, says Indonesian researcher Siwage Dharma Negara.