In order to widen knowledge regarding international issues and the need to analyse international politics, the Islamic Politics Postgraduate Studies and Political Science department of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) opened a guest lecture themed “International Geopolitics and its Impacts to Indonesian Politics”. The guest lecture was hosted on Saturday (5/10) in the UMY Graduate Seminar Room, and was attended by Students of Islamic Politics and Political Science.
Prof. Bilveer Singh, Ph.D, a professor from the National University of Singapore discussed three issues in the public lecture. “We will discuss three issues, namely the rise of China for Indonesia, its impact on Indonesia, and the presence of terrorism and radicalism which will be discussed under the Malacca Dilemma and the Thucydides Trap,” he stated.
Bilveer stated that the Malacca Dilemma is a scheme by China to be able to enter the Papua region. To do so, China chose to avoid the Malacca channel. Several countries in South East Asia is involved in this scheme, including Myanmar. In addition, he also explained the Thucydides Trap taken from the concept of the historian, Thucydides. In reality, China is rising and will become a superpower that is equal to America which is why any conflict should be avoided. “Right now, the world is undergoing a trade war, which involves battles in technology, politics, and diplomacy. China is projected to be the number one country in the world. South East Asia is basically already under their control, as they have some presence in Indonesia, even in Papua and Java,” he added.
Bilveer also explained several realities of South East Asia, including cyber warfare, identity politics, the uncertainty of economical growth, and the challenge of internal politics. “In reality, there are several changes in South East Asia that are caused by the 4.0 technological revolution. With the availability of the internet and social media, there are pressure from globalization and the free market, which increases global and national expectation, not to mention political and economical pressure,” He explained.
Jaminder Singh of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies also explained that South East Asia plays an important part in international geopolitics and is an important region for the conflict between the US, China, Russia, India, and Japan. “In addition,security issues, both old and new or more commonly referred to as traditional and modern issues, refers to the rise of radicalism and terrorism. This needs to be observed in South East Asia, which already shows sighs of external conflict in Central Asia. The key to the security of a region is a country’s ability to handle its internal issues. The reverse is also true, as the conflict in Papua can be a window for other countries to interfere such as the cases in Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia,” he closed. (Sofia)