Australia and Indonesia: diverging neighbours in the Indo-Pacific?
Australia’s strategic outlook on the Indo-Pacific is changing rapidly, as reflected by the recent AUKUS announcement, forthcoming Defence Strategic Review and membership of new regional minilateral groupings such as the Quad. These changes will have important implications for Australia’s relations with neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, and especially Indonesia, highlighted by Jakarta’s mixed response to the AUKUS announcement in 2021. How widespread are concerns about AUKUS and Australian strategic policy more generally within Indonesia? Are the two countries experiencing a divergence in their strategic outlooks? And how should the two sides manage the risk of such a divergence in the years ahead?
This panel discussion featured Dr Evan A. Laksmana, Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore, in conversation with Richard Maude of the Asia Society Policy Institute. The event was moderated by Susannah Patton, Southeast Asia Program Director at the Lowy Institute.
Dr Evan A. Laksmana is a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is also a Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow.
Richard Maude is Executive Director, Policy, and Senior Fellow of the Asia Society Policy Institute. He is a former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments and head of the whole-of-government taskforce which prepared the Australian Government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.