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INDONESIA'S RESPONSE TO CHANGING BIG POWER ALIGNMENTS
This article is based on a paper presented at the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 14-i6, 1973.
INDONESIA, like other Asian Third World States, has been confronted with many new problems arising from the rapidly changing policies of, and relations between the major powers.These shifts, essentially representing a transformation of the international system, began in i969 and have accelerated since i971. They began with the receding of China's Cultural Revolution in i968-69 (marked by the Chinese Communist Party's Ninth Congress in April i969) and a return to a more active and moderate foreign policy on Peking's part. The border clashes of i969 brought Sino-Soviet relations to a new nadir and soon led to intensified competition in Southeast Asia and elsewhere between these two powers. During the same period, the role of the United States in Asia was being drastically revised: both the gradual de-escalation in Vietnam and the announcement of the Nixon Doctrine seemed to indicate a significantly lowered American posture in the area. In perhaps the most far-reaching of all the changes, there emerged a rapprochement between the U. S. and China, dramatically altering a twenty-year hostile relationship. Along with this came a substantial warming-especially in the areas of strategic arms limitations and trade-in U. S.-Soviet relations as well. Finally, predating the period under consideration but accelerating during it, was the fact of Japan's increasing role as an aspiring regional (if not global) power.
This article examines how and how far Indonesia has responded to these changes. Like other "lesser powers," Indonesia has had to assess the meaning of these complex and still ongoing realignments for the protection and advancement of its own interests. This is not to say that Indonesian foreign policy has simply reacted to external variables; indeed, a major theme of the article is that the alterations in Indonesia's foreign policy as a response to these changes have been within the framework of domestic, political and economic forces, and that the internal issues have had primacy. Moreover, such alterations as have occurred have been carried out in a most "Javanese" manner, with extreme caution, indirection, and subtlety. One is struck by the analogy between the contemporary foreign policy process in Djakarta and the Javanese wajang, or shadow play: from the "shadow side," where foreigners sit, one is certain there is more going on than he can see but cannot be sure just what it is.
Given this framework and "atmosphere," as well as the lack of openness of the process, then, merely discerning the changes is difficult enough: tracing the links between cause and effect is even more so. Nevertheless, the pieces of evidence can be put together to provide an analysis of develop- ments in Indonesia's foreign policy since i969. After an examination of the broad outlines Indonesian foreign policy before and immediately after the coup of October i, i965 the new debates and directional changes since i969 and especially I97i are analyzed, with special attention to the recent period (through April I973) of foreign policy discussion. The aim is to gauge the "mood" and ascertain the nature of the debate in Djakarta's decision-making and opinion-forming circles. Some of the analysis of current trends and the concluding glance at probable future developments is necessarily speculative.
The events of the October i965 coup and its aftermath of the next several months mark a great divide in contemporary Indonesian history. Foreign policy as well as internal politics underwent a radical revision. As the two most powerful supporters of Djakarta's "axis" with Peking, President Sukarno and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), were rendered powerless (the latter bloodily and the former in a more indirect and gradual manner), China emerged clearly as the chief foreign "loser." The increas- ingly close relations of the first half of the i960's were reversed and by late 1967, when diplomatic relations were "frozen," mutual hostility was intense. There was no improvement up to i969.
For the Soviet Union the coup and its aftermath had a mixed impact on its relations with Indonesia.' Having seen itself displaced by the CPR as Sukarno's closest "comrade-in-arms" in the early ig6os (despite assiduous and expensive Soviet diplomatic, economic and military efforts), Moscow was naturally relieved to see China's fall from influence. It accordingly attempted to foster closer relations with the emerging mili- tary regime, while trying also to slow down anti-Communist policies internally and pro-Western leanings externally. Nevertheless, the new regime under General Suharto seemed less than anxious to rebuild Soviet-Indonesian relations. During i968 the Kremlin apparently decided that this "compromise" policy was doing nothing to stop the increasingly strong pro-Western orientation of Indonesia's foreign policy nor its sup- pression of Communism internally. In the hope of the revival of a Moscow influenced PKI, the Soviet Union consequently adopted a harsher, anti- Suharto stance and the correct but cool relations between Moscow and Djakarta grew increasingly strained and unfriendly into i969.
It was the United States and Japan that gained most in terms of closer relations with Indonesia following the i965 coup. These countries, particu- larly the U. S., had been targets of Sukarno's abuse as the reactionary and doomed "Old Established Forces," and the American "presence" in Indonesia had been drastically reduced from its peak in the mid-i950s. Nevertheless, it was to the U. S., Japan, and other Western states that Indonesia turned in the i966-I$9 period. The motivations for this included an effort to restore some semblance of independence and non-alignment to Indonesia's foreign policy as well as the desire for defense against the dangers of Communist subversion (internal but supported from the out- side). Undoubtedly the most significant incentive for this undertaking, however, was the new regime's goal of economic recovery and development. In an effort to build confidence among Western creditors and potential donors of fresh assistance, the Suharto government rejoined the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, ended its "confrontation" with Malaysia, and announced that it would return all foreign enterprises confiscated during that adventure, accepted an IMF stabilization program, and drew up what aimed to be a balanced budget. With relatively little hesitation, the U. S., several European countries and Japan first agreed to a postponement of the repayment of the long-standing and substantial debts incurred by Sukarno's "Old Order." This group, referred to as the "Tokyo Club"2 and later more formally constituted as the Inter-Govern- mental Group on Indonesia (IGGI), then moved to provide the massive economic assistance which Djakarta sought to rehabilitate and develop its devastated economy. IGGI (with the U. S. and Japan supplying approxi- mately one-third each) granted $200 million to Indonesia for i967, $360 million for i968, and $500 million for i969. This, combined with warmly- encouraged private foreign investment, meant that 8i per cent of the first year of Indonesia's first Five Year Plan was to come from foreign sources. Not surprisingly, relations between Indonesia and the U. S. and to a lesser extent between Indonesia and Japan and Western European countries improved considerably thereafter. .......