Navigating Indonesia’s Relations In South Pacific For 2024 – OpEd


To navigate Indonesia’s relations in the South Pacific in 2024 requires well-grounded strategic foresight and deft diplomacy.  As one of the key players in this region, Indonesia needs to deal with probable challenges coming up from rivalries of influence and to deal with relationships with countries such as Australia, New Zealand the USA, and China. And of course, as a member of this region Indonesia has to look for the balance between its national interests and the interests of other South Pacific countries. 

One example of these tensions can seen be if you look at the South Pacific where Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and China all have major economic and political interests. These differing interests can sometimes lead to conflict and competition between the countries. 

Navigating Indonesia’s South Pacific relations in 2024 will require a careful balance. Knowing and addressing potential rivalry with other great powers in the region of Indonesia will bring stability and coordination between the nations. 

As Indonesia seeks to assert itself in the South Pacific they must contend with the possibility that some of the key players may not want the country to do so. Much of Australia’s, New Zealand’s, the US’s, and China’s foreign policy is shaped by its commitment to establish and maintain these nations as the dominant players in the South Pacific. Each of these countries has long-standing interests and investments in the South Pacific that they will not want taken away from them. The politics and the money of the South Pacific can get very messy for Indonesia. 

Australia and New Zealand are traditional powers and major dominant players in the South Pacific Both have historically expended many economic resources and undertaken an aggressive geopolitical influence to shape regional power. Their strong relationships throughout the South Pacific are also a very strong competition to Indonesia as it seeks to expand ties, friendship, and cooperation with other countries in the South Pacific which are very important to Indonesia as strategic partners and friendly allies.

One of the main strategic challenges to Indonesia due to its geographical position and ambitions has to be that of the United States due to its military presence and its security commitments in the Asia-Pacific, a presence that the US is eager to strengthen and to maintain for the long very term future. In addition, an additional challenge strategy that the United States placed Indonesia trying to be a middle power has been the rivalry between the United States and the People’s Republic of China as a result Indonesia will be required that fane her relations with both major powers.

The competition of the US with China to win or to dominate and secure influence over South Pacific countries will impact Indonesia’s ability to conduct independent, autonomous, and active foreign policy especially when the contest between these two poles the US and China for influence over the countries of South Pacific is accompanied by spats or conflicts surely there will be impact Indonesian’s national interest in that conditions. It offers Indonesia both opportunities and risks so that when it establishes close relations with the major powers and any powers great it would benefit its economy and it would open up new investment opportunities hence it will help Indonesian’s development and it will be helped Indonesian’s growth from and security perspective and military security perspective when Indonesia is cooperating with the major powers of the world then it will benefit its security, its military, and its other defense needs too. 

Indonesia has the opportunity to play a much larger role in the Pacific South and navigate through the choppy waters that lay ahead. Indonesia could be a successful mediator given its position in south-east Asia and its close cultural ties to many of these nations the in South Pacific. Forging a way forward, working with the different powers as well as having aspirations and interests. This will require smart diplomacy, in engaging dialogue while also seeking to build strategic relationships that allow the country to shape the region as it sees while also making sure that the region remains stable. 

In conclusion, Indonesia’s ability to navigate challenges in this region over the next six years needs careful rhetoric and careful planning. What we know for certain is a rivalry of influence is occurring between Australia, New Zealand the USA, and China with the institutional power balance strongly in favor of Australia. Indonesia must with subtlety, shift this power balance away from Australia whilst not alienating these states. By engaging in dialogue and cooperation it can to contribute a stable and prosperous South Pacific in 2024 and beyond.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.


  1. Smith, G. (2020). The Role of Indonesia in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 45(2), 189-205.
  2. Jones, M. (2019). Australia-Indonesia Relations: Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 73(5), 457-472.
  3. Wang, L. (2018). China’s Influence in the South Pacific: Implications for Regional Security. Asian Security Studies Review, 26(3), 301-318.
  4. Johnson, K. (2017). The United States’ Pivot to Asia: Implications for Indonesian Foreign Policy. Journal of Asian Politics & International Relations, 21(4), 421-437. 5. Lee, S., & Park, J.H., (2016).

Simon Hutagalung

Simon Hutagalung is a retired diplomat from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and received his master's degree in political science and comparative politics from the City University of New York. The opinions expressed in his articles are his own.

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