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China becomes an election issue in Asia. And this is bad news for Beijing



But now, when Jock is looking for a re-election, he seems to be moving away from Beijing and diminishing the importance of China-funded projects in Indonesia.

This is a pattern that occurs in Southeast Asia and beyond. It is a big concern for Beijing because Chinese investments and contacts become uncomfortable – if not just toxic – with the election issue.

The rising skepticism of the signed "Belt and Road" initiative of the Syrian Army (BRI) risks exacerbating the existing tensions that many countries in the region have with Beijing over territorial disputes, as both China and the United States continue to fight for power against the backdrop of a failed trade war.

"It's not true if people think President Jokov has a particular advantage for China-funded projects," said his spokesman, As Hassan Syaghili, last week.

If the camp sounds like defensive defense, then it's because it's allegedly linked to Beijing became the key to the attack of the rival Prabowo Subianto. After Jokov blamed Prabovian criticism that he was not Muslim enough to chose an Islamist priest as his partner, the pensioner suffered after the Chinese investments in Indonesia were once advertised by the president.

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In January, Prabovo, repeating US President Donald Trump, promised: to get "the best deal" from Beijing, and urged Jakarta to reconsider his trade policy with China.

Anvita Basu, an analyst at the Department of Economic Intelligence, said that "during the election campaign, anti-Chinese rhetoric grew."

"The Chinese community in Indonesia – which was mostly a business owner and trafficker – has long faced outrage and discrimination for controlling a great deal of wealth," she told CNN's email. "These issues are being advertised and popularized during the election period, and this year (Prabovo) used them as a means of verifying Jokov's loyalty to his nation."

China is the largest trading partner of Indonesia, according to the World Bank. In the first two months of this year, trade between the two countries cost more than $ 10.4 billion.
Under Jokowi, Indonesia joined the Chinese Asian Investment Investment Bank, as well as BRI Xi. The initiative has been increasingly criticized in recent months, while it claims that it upset the poorer countries with unsustainable debts and projects that benefit Beijing more than host countries.
Beijing financed large infrastructure projects in Indonesia, in particular, the $ 6 billion high-speed rail transport that connects Jakarta with the city of Bandung, the capital of Western Java.
This project should be completed next year. But she was criticized for allegedly over-spending of the budget, poor planning plans and delayed construction. Even the supporters of bigger Chinese investments in Indonesia have returned to it – Tom Lembong, Chief Investment Officer of the country, said Bloomberg, "that represents everything that is not so with the Belt and the Road."

"It is non-transparent and non-transparent – even with our cabinet members, there is a problem with obtaining data and information," Lembong said.

It seems that Jokov loses, and the Prabovian presidency seems to be a long blow, while a recent anti-Chinese story shows that Beijing can not afford to be self-satisfied.

Chinese investments and projected influences played a role in the Malaysian elections last year. And although this was not the driving factor behind Mahathir Mohamad's victory in May, the 93-year-old pursued promises to be tougher in Beijing when he became president. Such fears were not limited to Malaysian elections. During a poll in the Maldives last year, the current and ultimate defeat of Abdullah Yamen has repeatedly been attacked by his close ties with Beijing.

In January 2018, former President Mohamed Nashid accused Yemen of allowing China to "capture the land" in the country. After his government took the Maldivian Democratic Party, she promised to stop "Chinese colonialism" and talks on loans with Beijing.

Other countries, such as Ms Yamna, have cut their BRI projects against debt and stability concerns. Outside of Asia, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta faced the demands he rejected as "pure propaganda" – that the key port in Mombasa risking to capture Beijing for unpaid debts. The public outbreak was caused by the actual movement of China to capture the Hambantoti port in Sri Lanka, after the country failed to return the billions of dollars it paid to Beijing.

China vigorously opposed such criticism, stating that it is subject to double standards.

"It is stupid that the money coming from Western countries is estimated as good and sweet, and based on China it is an ominous trap," said Hua Chunin, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Loss of its brilliance

When China is preparing for the key summit "Belt and Road" later this month, there are signs that Beijing is looking to revise this initiative, trying to solve some of its most urgent issues and defuse it. criticized by foreign partners.

Although she was in a negative reaction to China in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, others prevailing, as the Philippines is approaching Beijing, analyst EIU Bazu predicted that "many countries will remain cautious because of lack of transparency in terms of funding" for BRI deals.

The negative reaction to the BRI, which seems to have caught the Chinese leaders, was underlined by the fact that outside of investments, Beijing has little to offer its neighbors – many of which are either neutral or opposed to key issues of foreign policy .

"China's gradual, subdued China South Korean policy has raised concerns since 2009 about whether the country will continue to be peaceful, especially in light of the role of Beijing, which is perceived as undermining the unity of ASEAN," said political analyst Jakarta Devi Fortuna Anwar wrote last month.
Both Indonesia and Malaysia have territorial disputes with China, and in December Yokov guided the discovery of a military base on the islands of Natuna on the southern tip of the South China Sea. Malaysia also expressed concern over Beijing's widespread claims to controversial waters.
The governments of the two countries with the majority of Muslims also face more and more pressure to oppose China for its treatment of the Uighur minority, hundreds of thousands of whom were allegedly sent to "redevelopment" camps against the backdrop of widespread Islamic dispersal.

As she tries to balance the increasingly hostile United States – and to avoid the negative effects of the temporarily suspended trade war with Washington – China finds that its traditional methods of conquering friends in Asia are losing their brilliance. And the closer it is to the status of a superpower, the more its influence and power can be used against it.


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