Indonesia has played a significant role in shaping the Indo-Pacific since its idea was first introduced in 2007 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Indonesia has taken a position of leadership on geopolitical issues and has seen itself as a regional leader. Since 2013, Indonesia has responded to the Indo-Pacific idea by drafting and approving the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at the 2019 ASEAN Summit.
Indonesia’s Indo-Pacific approach emphasizes ASEAN’s unity and centrality in the region. The country’s views on the Indo-Pacific are connected to its broader international economic views of political neutrality and a market mechanism-based approach. Indonesia has positioned itself as a middle power in the region and has managed to live up to expectations by emphasizing principles of inclusiveness, transparency, and dialogue in the Indo-Pacific Cooperation Concept.
Indonesia’s former foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, envisioned an Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN playing a central role, rather than elevating Indonesia or any other country. The country’s role in shaping the Indo-Pacific region is crucial to ensuring that the region remains stable and prosperous. The US has recognized Indonesia’s role as a regional leader and partner, which is reflected in the recent Quad summit, which included leaders from the US, India, Japan, and Australia, and has been seen as a counterweight to China’s growing influence in the region.
To sum up, Indonesia’s role in shaping the Indo-Pacific has been significant, as the country has emphasized ASEAN’s centrality in the region, principles of inclusiveness and transparency, and political neutrality. The country’s leadership in the region is critical to maintaining stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, and its ideas have been widely accepted by the region’s dominant actors.