According to Lowy Institute’s survey, more Indonesians have become less in favor of China compared to 10 years ago, with 60% approving that Indonesia should join other nations in hampering China’s power, a 10-point growth. (Graph 1)
The independent Australian think-tank gathered opinions from 2021 and compared them to another survey made in 2011.
Indonesians who considered China’s development as a critical threat to the country’s vital interests took up 47%. Lowy Institute said it was a 7-plus percentage from a decade ago. (Graph 2)
China also tops Indonesians’ worries about which nation will become the greatest threat in the next ten years, with 49%, almost half of the population. In 2011, China was only the third concern behind the U.S. and Australia. (Graph 3)
Three in 10 Indonesians (31%) said that the government allowed too much foreign investment; and 58% of them believe that the government has allowed too much foreign investment from China.
When assessing whether they would agree if a Chinese bank, company or investment fund acquired a majority share in major Indonesian firms, about only one in three Indonesians favored Chinese investors. (Graph 4)
According to Eko Listiyanto, the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef)’s director in Indonesia, China’s heavy involvement in infrastructure projects made concerns about China’s investment reasonable.
He told BenarNews, “China is also trying to expand its investments, especially to developing countries through the Belt and Road Initiative.”
The director continued, “On the other hand, European and U.S. investors are still struggling to recover, and generally their interests are not in infrastructure.”
Lowy conducted the survey in December 2021, giving questions to 3000 Indonesians aged 17 to 65 across 33 Indonesian provinces.