Seminar: Taking Stock of Sino-Indonesian Relations under the Jokowi Presidency



About the Seminar

Under the Jokowi presidency, Indonesia and China are again enjoying a “honeymoon” period. Anything related to China is seemingly popular among the Indonesian public. Symbolizing the close relationship are, among others, the Mandarin Language, Confucius Institute, Zheng He, and infrastructural loans from China. But despite the current Sino-Indonesian relations being in a “honeymoon” period, the two countries have historically been disturbed by various crises. These are, among others, the question of the nationality status and the “loyalty” of Indonesian ethnic Chinese to their country of birth, Chinese claim over area or areas traditionally owned by Indonesia, and China’s claim over the South China Sea which has threatened to disrupt ASEAN unity. Moreover, the flood of Chinese cheap products to the Indonesian market has drawn antipathy from Indonesian producers. In addition, the presence of Chinese workers in Indonesia’s infrastructure build-up could also provoke the ire of Indonesian workers. Meanwhile, the fact that Indonesia’s political system has several weaknesses may also render the formulation and implementation of her domestic and foreign policies ineffective. The extent to which the aforementioned crises and challenges impacts Sino-Indonesian relations will form the basis of this presentation.

About the Speaker

Abdullah Dahana, known by his pen name A. Dahana, is a retired Professor of Chinese Studies, and a former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Indonesia. After receiving his undergraduate education in Chinese Studies at the University of Indonesia, Professor Dahana received his MA in Chinese Literature from Cornell University and subsequently, his PhD in History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In the course of doing his PhD,
Professor Dahana was a Research Fellow at ISEAS in 1982-1983. He was also International News Editor for Tempo Weekly News Magazine and Executive Director of AMINEF which administers the Fulbright Program in Indonesia. He writes academic as well as popular articles, mostly on China, in Bahasa Indonesia as well as in English.

To register, please fill in this form and email to by 12 October 2016.


Oct 13 2016


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2