Australian think-tank taps Indonesians’ views of the world . . .
The Lowy Institute, a Sydney, Australia-based think-tank, released its Indonesia Poll 2021 yesterday. The survey covered topics ranging from views on democracy, climate change, and COVID-19, to how the world’s fourth-most populous nation should position itself internationally. Overall, the survey report found that “the citizens of the world’s third most populous democracy are optimistic about the future but wary of the great powers that are seeking to court them.” The poll was conducted in December 2021 and involved interviews with 3,000 Indonesians aged 17 to 65 in all but one of the country’s 34 provinces. It has been a decade since Lowy’s last poll in the country.
Indonesian views toward great powers . . .
Lowy's findings show that Indonesians are increasingly skeptical about China and the United States, but overall, China ranks less favourably than the U.S. For example, 43 per cent of Indonesians agreed with the statement that “China’s growth has been good for Indonesia,” an 11-point decline since Lowy’s 2011 survey. Nearly half of the respondents (48%) agreed that “China’s aim is to dominate Asia,” 60 per cent think that “Indonesia should join with other countries to limit China’s influence,” and only 30 per cent of respondents supported more investment from China, compared to 42 per cent for the U.S. The survey finds that a large majority (84%) is determined that Indonesia should stay neutral in any U.S.-China conflict.
Feelings, confidence, trust . . .
On a scale from zero to 100, respondents in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country reserved their warmest feelings for Saudi Arabia (70), Japan (64), the United Arab Emirates (64), Singapore (63), and the Palestinian territories (63). Respondents were most confident in the leaders of Saudi Arabia (57%) and the UAE (52%) and least confident in the leaders of Australia (38%), India (38%), and China (34%). Trust in major powers to act responsibly has declined over the last 10 years: Trust in Japan (65%) fell 15 points, Australia (55%) fell 20 points, the U.S. (56%) fell 16 points, China (42%) fell 18 points, and India (41%) fell 17 points since 2006. Meanwhile, Japan, the U.S. and South Korea were seen as the top destinations for overseas study and Japan and the U.S. were considered the most attractive for working abroad.