Indonesia signs high-speed rail deal, then conducts naval exercise – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for May 23, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Does India have more people than China?"

On May 19, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, for the second time in seven months, observed a massive military exercise around the Natuna Islands, a resource-rich area that verges on the South China Sea and is partly claimed by China. Though the drills, according to The Diplomat, are far more routine and much less dramatic than some reports indicated, they do emphasize Jokowi’s policy to maintain Indonesia’s presence in a disputed region where tensions have been up and down for years.

The military exercise took place right after Jokowi returned from attending the Belt and Road summit in Beijing on May 14 and 15. During a bilateral meeting between Jokowi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a consortium of Indonesian companies and China Railway International Company signed a $4.5 billion deal with China Development Bank.