Over Coffee #5 – ASEAN coast guard cooperation, Indonesia’s Indo-Pacific strategy, and Myanmar updates

A Happy New Year to all of us!

It’s a rather slow week, which might be a good sign. However, regional politics waits for no one. This week, I highlight some incremental regional developments in Southeast Asia, which hopefully might blossom later in the year. There are also some updates on a regional approach to Myanmar.

Once again, coffee beans from 20mL take the spotlight, but instead of a blend, I decided to purchase some single-origin beans from Toraja. I’ve always had a soft spot for Toraja beans because I like the flavor profile. These beans are from Pulu-Pulu village, which I’ve never tried. Since they were single-origin, I decided to brew them using a V60. The result was a bright coffee with hints of spice and a mellow aftertaste. It was different than what I was accustomed to, but perhaps my previous Toraja beans were roasted too darkly.

Continue reading “Over Coffee #5 – ASEAN coast guard cooperation, Indonesia’s Indo-Pacific strategy, and Myanmar updates”

Over Coffee #3 – U.S-Indonesia relations, the death of a giant, and some other Indo-Pacific stuff

This week is abuzz with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s maiden visit to Southeast Asia. His first stop is Indonesia. The visit coincides with a visit from the Russian Security Council Secretary. We also lost a towering and inspirational figure in International Relations this week. Plus, a lot of other stuff happening in the Indo-Pacific. This week’s recap comes a bit early as I wanted it to be more timely.

As usual, coffee comes first. My recommendation this week is Mochademia, a house blend of Toraja and West Java beans from 20mL, a local roaster based in Denpasar with a certified Q-grader with 13 years of experience under their belt. When paired with milk, it results in a smooth, velvety, and sweet coffee which reminds me a Snickers bar sans the copious amounts of refined sugar. As usual, I am not affiliated with any third-party products mentioned here.

Continue reading “Over Coffee #3 – U.S-Indonesia relations, the death of a giant, and some other Indo-Pacific stuff”

In the Indo-Pacific, Jokowi needs to be more assertive and engaged

A revised version of this commentary has been published in The Jakarta Post, 22 June 2019. For citation purposes, please refer to the published version. This is a pre-submission final draft and should not be cited.

If Indonesia wishes to make any meaningful strides in advancing its Indo-Pacific Cooperation Concept, Jokowi would need to focus on engaging ASEAN leaders instead of focusing more on domestic policy.

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Le’ Notes #42: What’s the buzz behind the Indo-Pacific?

This post covers the debate about the “Indo-Pacific” geopolitical construct. How do states understand it? What is its significance?

In the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (S.2736; or often abbreviated as ARIA) passed by Congress in 2018, the term “Indo-Pacific” appears 80 times. The bill affirms U.S. commitment to secure its national interests, promote American prosperity, advance U.S. influence, support regional architecture, and support international law and norms in the Indo-Pacific. It also makes mention of numerous U.S. security arrangements in the region, most notably the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad, for short), a controversial four-country—U.S., Japan, India, and Australia—security “club” intended to counter Chinese influence in the region. All in all, it looks like the U.S. has a new geopolitical focus: the Indo-Pacific.

But wait a minute, what is the Indo-Pacific? Who’s in it? Why are we just talking about it now? And how is it different from the “Asia-Pacific”? Answering those questions is the point of this post. Now, since I cannot cover everything in around 1,000-2,000 words, I’ll only go through the essentials. For further reading, just click the hyperlinks.

Continue reading “Le’ Notes #42: What’s the buzz behind the Indo-Pacific?”

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