There is a greater context to Indonesia's engagement with the Phlipppines - their support for claims of the the Phlipppines in the South-China Sea is not unqualified. In keeping as their status as leader of ASEAN (and as the only member of ASEAN in the G20) they want your country's acknowledgement of their status as leader via participation in their initiatives (eg. Asean humanitarian and disaster relief exercise
). There's a certain amount of space in the regional fora for the Philippines to articulate its concerns but the country must be careful not the over play the hand it has. Indonesia is a G20 member and their TNI is taking great strides in modernisation. The TNI's efforts is worthy of more study.
Indonesia with regards to the great powers has argued for a policy of ''dynamic equilibrium
'' with no one power dominating (or what Singapore's defence minister would call an inclusive security architecture). Some in Jakarta viewed the decision by the Australian and American governments to rotate up to 2500 marines in Darwin as counterproductive to their broader goal of achieving a closer strategic partnership between Washington and Beijing with both Washington (the supply of EDA F-16s to Indonesia
) and Beijing (in March 2011, Indonesia and China signed a MOU which included the joint production of the C-802 and the purchase of C-705 anti-ship missiles
, and other strategic goods to Indonesia) as arms suppliers to Indonesia. Between 2002–2006 and 2007–11, the volume of Chinese arms exports increased by 95 per cent. China now ranks as the sixth largest supplier of arms in the world, narrowly trailing the United Kingdom. Several factors, such as where the Indonesian military wants to source its equipment and Indonesian suspicion of Chinese motives, could explain Jakarta’s ambivalence with respect to security ties with China. Indonesian military equipment acquisitions to close out 2011 suggest Jakarta believes there are many better places where it can get most of its defense equipment. These deals included six Sukhoi Su-30MKK jet fighters from Russia; three submarines from South Korea; nine C-295 medium transport aircraft from Spain; and eight Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano counter-insurgency aircraft from Brazil as well as the planned transfer of 24 F-16C/D jets from the United States. The desire for higher quality and potentially more expensive military equipment from dispersed sources probably will continue.
Despite the fact that Indonesia is the largest single recipient of Australian aid and in 2011-12, Indonesia recieved A$474.6 million in aid
, in November 2011, the announcement of plans to base US Marines in Darwin was quickly met with strongly worded caution about containment of China containment from Indonesian military (TNI) chief, Admiral Agus Suhartono
, and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa
. Security expert, Professor Alan Dupont, argues that Australia again could be perceived as the ‘Deputy Sheriff’ of the US, a characterisation that was often used by regional leaders like Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to discredit Australia’s Southeast Asian credentials. It is in Australia’s best interests to resist this characterisation. The situation remains ambiguous for both Indonesia and Australia. And Security experts have suggested that Australia has to do more to sell closer US-Australia ties as non-provocative. For background on the Australian view (as a middle power) on the rise of China, I would suggest watching the video of this speech from Kevin Rudd, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs
at the 48th Munich Security Conference.