Indonesia and Malaysia’s Surge of Investment and Autonomy, with Ben Bland
Season 1, Episode 1
China’s relations with the historically more remote, maritime and Muslim-majority countries Indonesia and Malaysia are complex and historically intertwined. For both Indonesia and Malaysia, China is a vital economic partner, but tensions in the South China Sea and anti-China sentiments remain prevalent. The Indo-Pacific being home to significant global trading routes is not only of strategic importance to China. Once again it has become the focus of a global contest for power.
Your host: Nico Luchsinger, Co-Executive Director, Asia Society Switzerland
Moderator: Richard Maude, Executive Director, Policy, Asia Society Australia
Speaker: Ben Bland, Director of the Southeast Asia Program, the Lowy Institute
Production: Denise Staubli, Program Officer, Asia Society Switzerland
Ben Bland is the Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute and the author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia. Ben was previously an award-winning correspondent for the Financial Times in Indonesia, China and Vietnam. His first book, Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow, was acclaimed for its prescient insights into Hong Kong’s deepening political conflict with Beijing. He regularly writes and commentates for a wide range of international media including the BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, the Financial Times, Reuters and the Washington Post.
Richard Maude joined Asia Society Australia in January 2020 as the inaugural Executive Director, Policy, and Senior Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute – the first senior executive role in the Institute outside the United States. Richard Maude most recently served as Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Asia Society Switzerland Mini-Conference The Giant Next Door – China In Southeast Asia, The Case of Indonesia and Malaysia, November 10, 2020:
Asia Society Switzerland Mini-Conference The Giant Next Door – China In Southeast Asia, keynote presentation by Sebastian Strangio, November 10, 2020:
Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the struggle to remake Indonesia, by Ben Bland, 2020
In the Dragon's Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century, by Sebastian Strangio, 2020
While China’s largest neighbor India is expected to overtake China by population within only a few years, it is struggling in most other areas to compete with the other giant emerging country.
China has responded to the call for investments in Africa like no other country since the end of the 1990s. Its relationships with African countries has also become ever more political.
In Cambodia and Laos, China is the largest source of development assistance and investment. Both governments maintain close relations with China, where its presence is more marked than anywhere else in Southeast Asia.
The Indo-Pacific being home to significant global trading routes is not only of strategic importance to China. Once again it has become the focus of a global contest for power.
Listen to Asia Society Switzerland's Nico Luchsinger on our first podcast season of China and the World.