JOURNAL | EDITOR IN CHIEF By: Dr Hassan Wirajuda
Once again we are approaching the end of another year – and what a time 2016 has given us! Interesting developments in Indonesian domestic and foreign policy, regional tensions in the South China Sea and the presidential election in the United States all riveted our attention – as did many other issues.
As we venture together into the final quarter of 2016, our cover story once again focuses on the South China Sea. And with good reason. In July, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled that China’s expansive sovereignty claims have no legal basis under international law. Our author examines how Indonesia, which had three maritime skirmishes with China this year within its exclusive economic zone off the Natuna Islands, should respond, while another contributor ponders how to get China to accept the tribunal ruling, which Beijing dismissed.
Staying at home, the recently departed United States ambassador to Indonesia sums up the strong relations between the countries and how Jakarta can be a driving force on the global stage with a little help from its friends. We also examine the shocking health implications from asbestos use in Indonesia, and learn why so few Australians are studying the Indonesian language.
Looking abroad, our contributor argues that Southeast Asian nations can play a key role in the global development agenda, depending on how they treat the environment. We also have essays from around the world including Central Asia, East Africa and the United States. Speaking of which, the US presidential election reaches its climax in November, well after this edition is published. We will be sure to have a thorough examination of who won and what it means for Indonesia, Asia and the world at large in our January-March 2017 edition.
But that’s for another time. For the moment, we invite you to enjoy our final edition of this year, and hope that we once again spark thoughtful debate and discussion on the issues affecting our world.
Dr Hassan Wirajuda