The United States election [on Nov. 3, 2020] will impact global and regional politics, including for Indonesia, particularly on policies regarding the South China Sea and Papua. Therefore, Indonesia needs to prepare foreign and national security policies that will apply in any situation, whether Donald Trump is reelected or Joe Biden wins the US presidency. 

To formulate these policies, we can refer to a quote by Sun Tzu: “Know thy enemy, know thyself.” Democrats and Republicans have conflicting views on several important issues, with the main differences found in the political orientation. Democrats are left-leaning, liberal and usually associated with progress and equality. In contrast, Republicans rely on propriety, tradition, justice and economic freedoms, and the idea of “survival of the fittest.”

If Biden wins the election, the US’ foreign policy approach will shift from Republican to Democrat morality, which centers on the more liberal Kantian values that uphold democratic values, human rights and a liberal economy. Although Biden will still maintain a hardline stance against China, like Trump, we might see a US-China deal. The shift will benefit Indonesia in some cases, including its economic and security interests in terms of national and regional stability, especially in the South China Sea.

A Biden administration will be more internationalist and traditionalist in its foreign policy approach. This implies that in re- storing the US role and interest in global politics, Biden and Kamala Harris will be more open and use diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific and with its allies. We could see a potential part 2 to the “Pivot to Asia” strategy that emulates the Obama-Biden policy.

For more details:

This article was published in with the title “Indonesia must anticipate post-US election foreign policy changes”. Click to read: