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.
Reading between the lines of a party boss’ speech as China’s power reshuffle looms / SCMP
“Guangdong Communist Party boss Hu Chunhua 胡春华 made a high-profile declaration of his political loyalty in front of the provincial party congress on Monday. He repeatedly mentioned President Xi Jinping in his nearly 100-minute speech.”
Xi Jinping is ‘putting the house in order.’ Or is China facing destabilizing changes? / Washington Post
An opinion piece that makes a case for expecting “the CCP regime to last for some years to come, with Xi as its leader, either formally or behind the scenes.”
- China’s imports from North Korea sink as coal ban bites / Reuters
- Indian fighter jet missing in region claimed by China / Bloomberg