Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, left, said at the opening of the third annual Jakarta Geopolitical Forum on Thursday that the Indo-Pacific region was set to retain its status as a global geopolitical and geo-economic center. (Antara Photo/Nyoman Budhiana)

Indo-Pacific Region Must Guard Against Harmful Ideologies, Defense Minister Says

BY :ANTARA & NUR YASMIN

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Jakarta. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said the Indo-Pacific region was set to retain its status as a global geopolitical and geo-economic center.

"Forty percent of global trade, or $5.8 trillion, flows through the Indo-Pacific, a region rich in natural resources. That is why the Indo-Pacific will always be a global geopolitical and geo-economic center," he said at the opening of the third annual Jakarta Geopolitical Forum on Thursday.

He asked all countries in the region to maintain stability, because harmful ideologies are trying to infiltrate the region. He added that member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) were the main guardians of the Indo-Pacific region.

"If this region breaks down, the economies of other regions will also break down. We must protect it," he said.

Current geopolitics and international security issues will be discussed during this year's forum, hosted by the National Defense Agency (Lemhanas) and attended by experts from Russia, the United States, China, France and Australia.

"The theme was chosen in accordance with the current global situation, which has lately been marked by more dynamic international interaction," Lemhanas governor Lt. Gen. Agus Widjojo said.

This year's theme, "From World Disarray Toward a New Normal," is based on new power blocs in the international security architecture that are no longer tied to classical geopolitical blocs.

He added that the global center of economic, technological and civilizational growth was predicted to shift to the Asia-Pacific, which will also trigger conflict in the region.

The forum noted that France was strengthening its security partnerships and Russia was formulation hybrid and cyberwarfare strategies. It also said the ongoing trade war between the United States and China was shifting to technology war and the outcome was still unknown.

Terror groups are predicted to increasingly infiltrate cities and urban areas and the migrant crisis will continue to be one of the biggest humanitarian issues.

"Due to those dynamics, the global strategic environment must find a direction and a new form of balance. This event aims to define Indonesia's national interests," Agus said.

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