Getting our piece of the "national cake": The Islamists' attitude toward Yudhoyono's and Jokowi's China policies

Ardhitya Eduard Yeremia, Klaus Heinrich Raditio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on Indonesia-China relations have emphasized the central role of Indonesia's domestic politics in shaping its foreign policy toward China. However, there has been little discussion on the context in which and the extent to which internal struggles for power have contributed to shape Indonesia's China policy. Contributing to such a discussion, this article specifically focuses on the roles of Indonesian Islamist groups in affecting Jakarta-Beijing ties. It examines their political maneuvers in responses to the attitudes and policies of two governments, the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004-2014) administration and that of Joko "Jokowi"Widodo (2014-), on China-related foreign policy issues. Both Yudhoyono's and Jokowi's governments display the same friendly attitude toward China. On the South China Sea issues, nevertheless, Jokowi's government adopts tougher measures against China's maneuvers. Despite Jokowi's implementation of such policy, the Islamists put up considerable resistance to his China policy, even compared to his predecessor. This article finds that the extent of power sharing between the Islamists and the regime in power determines the former's responses toward the latter's China policy. This suggests that in the management of bilateral relations, the Islamists are not a hindrance per se in Indonesia-China relations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Asian Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • China
  • Communist
  • ethnic Chinese
  • Indonesia-China relations
  • Indonesian foreign policy
  • Islamist
  • political Islam
  • power-sharing


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