Time stands still for no one, and as we move toward the midpoint of 2016, there is no shortage of new critical topics to discuss, both for Indonesia and the world at large. National and regional security, Indonesia’s climate change policy and a historic new presidential administration in Taiwan.
It’s hard to choose where to begin, but this edition’s cover story is a good place to start. We are pleased to have Kevin Rudd, the former prime minister of Australia, join our esteemed list of contributors. Tensions in the South China Sea have not lessened this year, unfortunately, and have actually seen the US military give shows of force in response to China’s continued posture in this vital region. Mr Rudd raises the question of whether Washington and Beijing are on a collision course for conflict, and why both powers must be realistic in their relations, in particular given China’s economic rise.
Then we have Taiwan, which earlier this year elected its first female president, who will take office in May, and who gave her opposition party control of the executive and legislative branches for the first time in Taiwan’s history. Yet the incoming administration of Tsai Ing-wen faces formidable domestic challenges – in addition to determining its relationship with Beijing. We will also be on the lookout for an expected new policy announcement regarding Taiwan’s relationship with Southeast Asia.
Back home in Indonesia, we rightly, but sadly, look back on the January 14 attack in Jakarta with excellent essays on the ever-present threat of terrorism, and how Indonesia must revamp its deradicalization policies. We also take a close look at ways the government can make structural changes in public governance to compete in the 21st century, and strike a more positive tone with our photo essay, which tells an inspiring story of Indonesians living – and thriving – with disabilities.
We wish you happy reading this quarter, as our relentless charge through the year continues with timely new analysis, discussion and debate.
Dr Hassan Wirajuda