FORECAST Indonesia will maintain its aggressive stance to cement its hold on the area — part of its broader imperative to control the sprawling archipelago. Jakarta will build military, fishing and energy facilities on the islands, pursuing a strategy similar to that of other claimants in the South China Sea. ANALYSIS A maritime fulcrum Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who took office in 2014, that strategy has been to make Indonesia a “maritime fulcrum” between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Controlling the seas that constitute so much of Indonesia’s territory is not only essential to keep the nation together, but it also enables Indonesia to increase its prominence in Asia, making it an indispensible nation to Pacific powers. Jokowi’s fulcrum concept boils down to three main priorities: to build up maritime defense, focus on securing and exploiting resources, and develop logistics throughout the archipelago. The idea is not to turn Indonesia into a great power in the Pacific but to make the most of its position by ensuring control over its broad swath of territory. Only with full control of its waterways and flanking oceans can Indonesia take advantage of its position on key trade routes…. Read full this story
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