Malaysia warns AUKUS pact will spark nuclear arms race in Indo-Pacific
On Saturday, Malaysia joined Indonesia in raising alarm bells about the military build-up in the region and the impact that the AUKUS pact, which includes Australia acquiring nuclear-propelled submarines, could have on regional stability.
Indonesia had for decades pursued an “aktif bebas”, or free and independent foreign policy.
“It’s never going to side with a partisan international alliance, so of course they will be pushing back.”
“They’re also going to be miffed because they were not consulted, just like on the Marines based in Darwin [announced a decade ago]. Despite that they won’t have a real problem, it’s just not in their interests or instincts to side with us.
“[Indonesian President] Jokowi, [Foreign Minister] Retno, [Defence Minister] Prabowo get this, they’re also miffed at what China is doing. They could be domestically wedged by their opponents so no one wants to say it publicly – this is classic south-east Asian behaviour. But like us, they have to balance economic interests and security concerns.”