China will become ‘ruthless monster,’ says Indon expert
JAKARTA—An Indonesian security expert has warned Southeast Asian countries that China plans “to become a hegemonic power” by 2020.
Andi Widjajanto, a professor at the Department on International Relations Studies at the Universitas Indonesia based in Depok, said China would become a “ruthless monster” by then and trigger conflict in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region.
“China will rule over the region and the world and its financial and military dominance will ignite resistance and militaristic reaction from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,” he told reporters attending a German-funded training here.
By 2050, Widjajanto said, China would become the most powerful country in the world.
“China will become the threat… it will not only become the giant but it will become the monster,” Widjajanto, also one of the members of a team that reviewed the Indonesian National Defense System, said.
Widjajanto said China started to move toward dominating the region when it deployed in May 2008 its naval warships in the South China Sea.
“There is a ‘warism’ scenario now in Southeast Asia. If this cannot be tackled wisely, we might enter a new phase of regional crisis,” he said.
Widjajanto said China’s war posturing created a new “sense of arms ‘combatism’ in Southeast Asia and this will not stop until 2050.”
Widjajanto cited Indonesia as one of the Southeast Asian countries that had been forced to increase its budget for security.
Right now, he said, Indonesia is planning to procure 10 submarines and four naval destroyers, and is on its way to implementing a military and security modernization plan from 2014 to 2024.
Singapore, Widjajanto said, is also building up its military, focusing primarily on its naval power—just like Malaysia and Vietnam.
“These are efforts and moves that are not only provocative but offensive in nature,” he said.
Surin Pitsuwan, Asean secretary general, disclosed that leaders of the region will take up the rising tensions brought about by overlapping claims on the Spratly islands when they sit with leaders of other countries to discuss regional security issues.
The Asean regional forum will take place in Bali later this month.
Pitsuwan told reporters that Asean was not interfering in the dispute among Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and China but “will provide the forum where issues on the South China Sea can be discussed openly and candidly.”—Jeffrey M. Tupas and Ryan D. Rosauro, Inquirer Mindanao
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.