Geopolitical dimensions of the TNI-U.S. Commander Meeting, President’s Visit to China

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Achmad Nur Hidayat MPP
Achmad Nur Hidayat MPP, Public Policy Expert and Chair of the Center for Political Economy Studies at UPN Veteran Jakarta.

Jakarta, IO – A visit of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A Milley with TNI Commander General Andika has inevitably raised broader geopolitical dimensions. 

How could this not be so? The meeting was held at a moment when China aggressively intercepted a western air patrol in the South China Sea (SCS). 

Australia and Canada accused China of dangerously intercepting a maritime patrol aircraft in early June 2022, while conducting routine sanctions surveillance and monitoring missions in the East and South China Seas. 

Australia reported that a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon was intercepted by a Chinese Air Force Shenyang J-16 fighter over the South China Sea while the Poseidon was conducting a “routine maritime surveillance” mission on May 26. 

The western media reported at least 60 interceptions toward the Canadian P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft over international waters by Chinese fighter jets since December 2021. 

Over two dozen Chinese fighter jets’ maneuvers were deemed dangerous by Canada. The crew of the CP-140 reported that the Chinese jets were close enough that crew members could “make an eye contact with the Chinese pilots, with them sometimes raising their middle fingers.” 

The heated situation shows a strong desire to gain hegemony in the South China Sea, both by the People’s Republic of China and the Western Allies.