Issue Brief on “Growing Indonesia-India Strategic Ties”


Several media reports emerged in May 2018 regarding India’s access to strategic Indonesian port of Sabang.[1] These reports came after the visit of Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Gen. (Retd) Luhut Pandjaitan to India from May 17-18, 2018. Among other official engagements, the visiting Indonesian minister called for greater maritime cooperation between India and Indonesia at the talk he delivered at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi titled “Indonesia’s Maritime Policy & Thinking of Ways Forward for India-Indonesia as Maritime Neighbors.”[2]

Gen.(Retd) Luhut was quoted as saying:

“We do not want to be controlled by BRI.”[3] He further added that, “Indonesia had positioned a plan called the “global maritime fulcrum” that is “designed to balance the BRI.” Indonesia and India are big enough that, “we don’t have to lean towards any superpower, and this makes India a sensible partner for Indonesia.”[4]

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