This paper provides a comprehensive overview of Indonesia’s steady emergence as a ‘middle power’ and, down the road, a potential major power in the Indo-Pacific. It analyzes the Southeast Asian country’s age-old pursuit of strategic autonomy, dating back to the advent of the Cold War in the mid-20th century, and its attendant efforts to enhance cooperation and foster solidarity among post- colonial nations across the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, the paper explains Indonesia’s emergence as a full-fledged ‘middle power’ in the 21st century, thanks to its proactive participation in peace processes around the world as well as its advocacy for a stable and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific. Finally, the paper analyzes the Southeast Asian country’s booming economy, modernizing armed forces, and coterie of capable diplomats and world-class strategic thinkers, who could collectively transform Indonesia into a global power by the middle of the 21st century.
Key words: Indonesia, strategic autonomy, middle power
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