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Southeast Asia

Why (and How) Indonesia must Reduce its Economic Dependence on China



Indonesia and China relationship is perhaps one of the most important diplomatic relations in the Indo-Pacific. As the world’s most and fourth-most populated countries in the world, one would argue that Indonesia and China relationship is extremely important, even though there are many frictions in the relationship, most notably the South China Sea dispute. As a consequence, many experts in Indonesia believe that the Indonesia-China relationship must be augmented. I, however, beg to differ. Behind the strong rhetoric of friendship, cooperation, and other diplomatic jargons lie an unmistakable sign of economic dependency on China. As I have argued on the opinion page of Foreign Policy Community Indonesia chapter Universitas Gadjah Mada in 2021, Indonesia are in a state of chronic economic dependency on China and this dependency must be reduced to enhance Indonesia’s independence, especially in safeguarding the Indonesian territory. Things, of course, have changed since last year, one of the biggest changes being the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and I believe my arguments must be updated. Still, the relevant evidence supports my argument that there must be a diminution of Indonesian dependency on China.

Indonesia-China Economic Relationship: Interdependence or Dependence?       

Firstly, one needs to remember that the current economic relationship is not of interdependence, but of dependence, meaning that Indonesia depends on China for its economic relations while the vice-versa is not necessarily true. According to the data published by the Observatory of Economic Complexity, China is the destination of nearly 30% of Indonesian exports while it is the origin of 18% of Indonesian imports in 2020. However, in the same year, Indonesia is the destination for only 1,54% of Chinese exports while it is the origin of only 2,1% of Chinese imports. Economic interdependence, by its very definition, means that two parties must be more or less equally dependent on one another. Seeing the data above, it is clear that Indonesia depends heavily on China for its trade while the vice-versa is not the case.

However, one could argue that Indonesia has many raw materials that China needs, such as nickel ore, that are necessary to fuel China’s growth and technological innovations. Again, the data does not corroborate this claim. Indonesia is the source of only 7,74% of China’s nickel ore, material that is heavily important in making electric cars and is touted by many Indonesian experts, politicians, and media as Indonesia’s leverage on world affairs. Furthermore, given that Indonesia exports nearly 90% of its nickel ore to China in 2020, one must ask the question whether China is dependent on Indonesia for its nickel ore or is it Indonesia that depends on China for nickel ore exports.

In addition, Indonesia is also fairly dependent on China for its foreign investment. According to the Investment Coordination Board of Indonesia, China is now the third-biggest foreign investor in Indonesia, behind Japan and Singapore. Admittedly, the Indonesian dependence on Chinese investment is not as chronic as Indonesia’s trade relationship with China. Still, there are some possibilities that the number of Chinese investments in Indonesia could be higher as some Chinese investment to Southeast Asia (including Indonesia) are routed through Singapore, resulting in a statistical distortion. However, Indonesia’s dependence on Chinese investment could grow as Indonesia and China has signed numerous investment development cooperation deals under the umbrella of the Belt and Road Initiative or other bilateral investment deals.

What is the Problem?   

One might ask why one must worry about Indonesia’s economic dependence on China? One answer is heavily relevant: China increasingly does not have hesitation to use its economic relations with other countries as a political economic weapon to achieve China’s objectives, often at the expense of its economic partner. In 2017, for example, when the South Korean government agreed to install the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to defend South Korea against North Korean missiles, China retaliated by embargoing outgoing Chinese tourists to South Korea as China believed that the THAAD can theoretically be used to target Chinese missiles, thus mollifying Chinese nuclear second strike capability. More recently and blatantly, China put in place an unofficial embargo on Australian exports to China after the Australian government called for an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kishore Mahbubani succinctly describes the effects of Australian economic dependence on China:

Australia is the most vulnerable [among the countries of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue]. Its economy is highly dependent on China. Australians have been proud of their remarkable three decades of recession-free growth. That happened only because Australia became, functionally, an economic province of China: In 2018–2019, 33% of its exports went to China, whereas only 5 percent went to the United States.

This is why it was unwise for Australia to slap China in the face publicly by calling for an international inquiry on China and Covid-19. It would have been wiser and more prudent to make such a call privately. Now Australia has dug itself into a hole. All of Asia is watching intently to see who will blink in the current Australia-China standoff. In many ways, the outcome is pre-determined. If Beijing blinks, other countries may follow Australia in humiliating China. Hence, effectively, Australia has blocked it into a corner.

And there are several points of friction in the Indonesia-China relationship that can lead China to wield its political economic weapon against Indonesia. The most notable one is the Indonesia and China dispute on the waters around the Natuna Islands. In this case, Indonesia’s legal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claim overlapped with the Chinese illegally-claimed nine-dash line. While Indonesia and China have successfully managed their dispute for years, China has gotten more and more brazen in recent years in upholding its illegal claim. In an unprecedented move, Reuters reported in December 2021 that China had sent a letter requesting that Indonesia withhold its oil and gas drillings in the Indonesia’s EEZ region that overlapped with China’s nine-dash line. Furthermore, in another unprecedented move, China protested Indonesia’s military exercises with the United States Army, even though the exercises took place primarily on land and far away from the South China Sea. Thus, it is increasingly clear that China is ever more willing to protest activities that are within the boundaries of Indonesia’s sovereignty. It is fortunate that China does not employ its extensive political economic leverage against Indonesia. However, given the increasing willingness to use its political economic relations as a weapon, it is not an irrational thought that China can one day impose an embargo on Indonesian exports to China unless Indonesia acquiesce to Chinese demands in the South China Sea or on other areas.

In spite of this, one can argue that the increasing Indonesia-China trade is essential for the maintenance of peace between Indonesia and China. In this iteration, if there is a high level of economic interdependence between Indonesia and China, then the parties involved will rethink the hostilities in fear of losing its economic benefits. There are some pitfalls with this argument. As I have explained previously, the economic relationship between Indonesia and China is not of interdependence, but of dependence. Secondly, even if Indonesia and China have economic interdependence, “high levels of economic interdependence do not make war impossible and thus do not free states from having to worry about what powerful rivals might do to upset the balance of power” as Stephen Walt argued in The Hell of Good Intentions: American Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of US Primacy. This is because states will always pick political and security goals first over prosperity and economic goals. Indeed, the decades leading up to the First World War was widely considered as the belle époque of globalization, with trade and immigration moving at an extremely high level. In recent years, the high amount of Ukraine-Russia trade does not prevent the latter from invading the former in 2022 and 2014.

Logically speaking, if China is really sincere in upholding its economic relationship with Indonesia, then China should have abandoned its illegal claims over the South China Sea (at least the part where its claims overlapped with Indonesia) and not do provocative acts such as requesting that Indonesia suspend its gas and oil drillings in Indonesian EEZ. These moves would be logical as these frictions could escalate and destroy the hard-won Indonesia-China economic relations. Instead, evidence points to the contrary: China’s diplomatic doublespeak means that China continues to employ highfalutin rhetoric on trade and economic relations with Indonesia while doing political, military, and pseudo-military moves that can damage those trade relationship. Therefore, any Indonesian policymaker and expert must ask an inconvenient question: Is China really sincere in upholding its good relationship with Indonesia?

What Must be Done?

Therefore, what must be done to lessen Indonesia’s economic dependence on China? The word count imposes a barrier to explaining each solution in detail. However, several solutions can be glossed over. One solution is to impose a barrier to the export of Indonesian raw materials. This will allow Indonesia to hit four birds with one stone: break away from the chain of dependency of manufactured goods imports and become more independent, create Indonesian manufacturing jobs, invigorating Indonesian domestic industry, and inviting more foreign investment to build manufacturing plants in Indonesia. The Indonesian government’s ban on exporting raw nickel ore is a step in the right direction. This can set an example to break Indonesia’s dependency on foreign countries, with the Indonesian President Joko Widodo declaring in December 2021 that the government will continue to impose barriers in the export of other raw materials, including bauxite. Thus, the production plants must be built physically in Indonesia and that there must be a technology transfer mechanism so that Indonesia can operate and develop the industries independently in the future.

Secondly, Indonesia can also search for alternative market in ASEAN by utilizing the benefits enshrined in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) rules. One might argue that ASEAN does not provide the necessary materials to Indonesia compared to China. Yet, it is important to note that many companies are now adopting the China+1 strategy to lessen their dependence on the Chinese economy and industry by opening up factories in other countries, most notably in Thailand and Vietnam. Indonesia will be able to utilize the tariff reduction that are signified in the AFTA rules if Indonesia source its manufacturing goods imports from ASEAN emerging industrialized countries. While this may seem inefficient and redundant, this step is extremely important to hedge the political risks and prepare for the possibility that China could use its economic relationship with Indonesia as a political economic weapon. If China bans a certain material from being exported to Indonesia, at the very least Indonesian industry would not be 100% crippled as they can still depend on imports from ASEAN countries. ASEAN countries can also be seen as a market potential for Indonesian exports to lessen Indonesia’s dependence on the China market, with an economic gravity model research identifying that Laos, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Thailand still have market potentials that can be exploited by Indonesian companies.

Other solution that Indonesia can implement is to take advantage of the recently-implemented Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP is way bigger and more ambitious compared to the AFTA, with the ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, and New Zealand being members of the RCEP. Even though the RCEP includes China, it also includes other more developed economies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. As such, under the umbrella of the RCEP, Indonesia can increase its exports to these countries as the tariff and non-tariff barriers have been dropped significantly. Furthermore, Indonesia can also attract more high technology investment from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea as the RCEP provides the framework for a more “enabling investment environment in the region.” This step is also necessary to lessen Indonesia’s dependence on Chinese investment.

Finally, it is vital that the government reduce its dependence on Chinese investment by looking for other sources of investment, such as Indian, Russian, Saudi Arabian. Emirati, Qatari, or even Turkish investments, as well as looking for opportunities in the G7-made Build Back Better World Initiative and also investment opportunities under the umbrella of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. However, one could argue that gaining investment from the West is quite difficult as Indonesia must fulfil certain anti-corruption, human rights, and environmental standards. Still, these standards are worthy goals to pursue as stringent anti-corruption, human rights, and environmental standards will benefit the Indonesian people, especially those living near the construction site, in the long run. In addition, to ensure that the investment generates a reasonable return to make the project seem attractive to Western investors, Indonesia must do well to assess the usefulness and the projection of the benefit that the project will bring. Infrastructure project mishaps, such as the Kertajati International Airport in West Java, must be averted and white elephant infrastructure projects must be avoided.

               To conclude, while Indonesia and China hailed its achievement in diplomatic relation, one must also see the growing signs of Indonesian economic dependence on China. This is a big problem as China continues to use its economic relationship with other countries as a political economic weapon to achieve Chinese goals, often at the expense of its partner. Thus, it is important for Indonesia to be able to withstand this coercion by diversifying its economic relations. The solution that can be implemented by Indonesia includes restricting the export of raw materials, utilizing the ASEAN Free Trade Area, and taking advantage of the RCEP. The solutions offered are by no means exhaustive. However, it provides several ideas into what Indonesia can do to lessen its economic dependence on China so that Indonesia can remain independent in upholding its national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

S.I.P (Political Science Bachelor) Candidate Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Gadjah Mada

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Southeast Asia

Reclaiming our future



The Asia-Pacific region is at a crossroads today – to further breakdown or breakthrough to a greener, better, safer future.

Since the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) was established in 1947, the region has made extraordinary progress, emerging as a pacesetter of global economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty.

Yet, as ESCAP celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, we find ourselves facing our biggest shared test on the back of cascading and overlapping impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, raging conflicts and the climate crisis.  

Few have escaped the effects of the pandemic, with 85 million people pushed back into extreme poverty, millions more losing their jobs or livelihoods, and a generation of children and young people missing precious time for education and training.

As the pandemic surges and ebbs across countries, the world continues to face the grim implications of failing to keep the temperature increase below 1.5°C – and of continuing to degrade the natural environment. Throughout 2021 and 2022, countries across Asia and the Pacific were again battered by a relentless sequence of natural disasters, with climate change increasing their frequency and intensity.

More recently, the rapidly evolving crisis in Ukraine will have wide-ranging socioeconomic impacts, with higher prices for fuel and food increasing food insecurity and hunger across the region.

Rapid economic growth in Asia and the Pacific has come at a heavy price, and the convergence of these three crises have exposed the fault lines in a very short time. Unfortunately, those hardest hit are those with the fewest resources to endure the hardship. This disproportionate pressure on the poor and most vulnerable is deepening and widening inequalities in both income and opportunities.

The situation is critical. Many communities are close to tipping points beyond which it will be impossible to recover. But it is not too late.

The region is dynamic and adaptable.

In this richer yet riskier world, we need more crisis-prepared policies to protect our most vulnerable populations and shift the Asia-Pacific region back on course to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as the target year of 2030 comes closer — our analysis shows that we are already 35 years behind and will only attain the Goals in 2065.

To do so, we must protect people and the planet, exploit digital opportunities, trade and invest together, raise financial resources and manage our debt.

The first task for governments must be to defend the most vulnerable groups – by strengthening health and universal social protection systems. At the same time, governments, civil society and the private sector should be acting to conserve our precious planet and mitigate and adapt to climate change while defending people from the devastation of natural disasters.

For many measures, governments can exploit technological innovations. Human activities are steadily becoming “digital by default.” To turn the digital divide into a digital dividend, governments should encourage more robust and extensive digital infrastructure and improve access along with the necessary education and training to enhance knowledge-intensive internet use.

Much of the investment for services will rely on sustainable economic growth, fueled by equitable international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). The region is now the largest source and recipient of global FDI flows, which is especially important in a pandemic recovery environment of fiscal tightness.

While trade links have evolved into a complex noodle bowl of bilateral and regional agreements, there is ample scope to further lower trade and investment transaction costs through simplified procedures, digitalization and climate-smart strategies. Such changes are proving to be profitable business strategies. For example, full digital facilitation could cut average trade costs by more than 13 per cent.

Governments can create sufficient fiscal space to allow for greater investment in sustainable development. Additional financial resources can be raised through progressive tax reforms, innovative financing instruments and more effective debt management. Instruments such as green bonds or sustainability bonds, and arranging debt swaps for development, could have the highest impacts on inclusivity and sustainability.

Significant efforts need to be made to anticipate what lies ahead. In everything we do, we must listen to and work with both young and old, fostering intergenerational solidarity. And women must be at the centre of crisis-prepared policy action.

This week the Commission is expected to agree on a common agenda for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, pinning the aspirations of the region on moving forward together by learning from and working with each other.

In the past seven-and-a-half decades, ESCAP has been a vital source of know-how and support for the governments and peoples of Asia and the Pacific. We remain ready to serve in the implementation of this common agenda.

To quote United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “the choices we make, or fail to make today, will shape our future. We will not have this chance again.”

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Southeast Asia

Return of the Marcos and Great-Power Competition



PNA photo by Joey O. Razon

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., more commonly known as “Bongbong,” won an outright majority in the recent presidential election in the Philippines. Son and name-bearer of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos paved the way for the country’s most notorious political dynasty’s shocking return to power. In the words of Filipino columnist Benjamin Pimentel, “It’s as if Kylo Ren emerged and the Empire is back in power.”

In announcing his desire to work for all people, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the world should judge him based on his presidency, not his family’s past.

“To those who voted for Bongbong, and those who did not, it is his promise to be a president for all Filipinos. To seek common ground across political divides, and to work together to unite the nation.” saidVictor Rodriguez, spokesperson for Marcos, in a statement.

However, the pragmatic words seem to have failed to sway the opposition as he faces countless accusations of election irregularities. Their opponents are horrified by Marcos’ brazen attempt to reinvent historical narratives from his family’s era in power. A protest against Marcos was staged by approximately 400 people outside the election commission on 10th May, primarily by students.

Human rights group Karapatan urged Filipinos to reject Marcos’ new presidency, which it sees as a product of lies and disinformation designed “to deodorise the Marcoses’ detestable image”.

HISTORY OF MARCOS: People Power” Uprising

Ferdinand Marcos Jr is not a new name in the Philippines’ political scenario. The “bloodless revolution” of 1986 in the Philippines that ousted the infamous dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was none other than Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s father.

The world leaders at the time praised the mass demonstration after hundreds of thousands marched along EDSA streets to protest a fraudulent election. Through the People Power” Uprising, Filipinos proved that a peaceful uprising can challenge a ruthless dictatorship and overthrow military rule.

Marcos Jr and his family escaped to Hawaii following the rebellion and after his return to the Philippines in 1991, Marcos Jr served in congress and the senate. With his return to the Malacañang Palace in 2022, the world anxiously watches whether history will repeat itself or democracy will prevail as Marcos Jr. relentlessly defends his father’s legacy, refusing to apologise or acknowledge the atrocities, plunder, cronyism, and extravagant living, which resulted in billions of dollars of state wealth disappearing during the dictatorship.

MARCOS JR’S FOREIGN POLICY: Continuity or Change?

Considering his political alignment with Rodrigo Duterte, the outgoing President, who has been exceedingly vocal about his anti-Washington, pro-China stance, it is no secret Marcos Jr. favours Beijing. According to Richard Heydarian, a South China Sea observer and professor of political science, “Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. is the only candidate who has signalled almost perfect continuity with the incumbent populist pro-China president in Malacañang.”

However, Marcos Jr seems to be a President that might play the game more strategically compared to his successor. Among Marcos’s many accolades for his father, one was maintaining a strong security alliance with Washington. Even though, he is politically aligned with Duterte who sought to pivot away from the United States and towards China, Marcos will seek a balancing act. Philippines under Marcos will continue engaging with China, in-line with Duterte’s Pro-China Policy but at the same time will engage, and even bolster a closer tie with the USA, to safeguard Philippines’ sovereignty amidst an aggressively rising China.

When asked if he would ask the American’s help in dealing with China, Marcos Jr said, “No. The problem is between China and us. If the Americans come in, it’s bound to fail because you are putting the two protagonists together.” This statement shows a sense of maturity and solid understanding of the ground realties of the region. Marcos Jr. seems to be the President that keeps his country’s national interest at the very core of all his decisions. He understands how easy it is for a small country to be stuck in the middle of a great-power competition, and that more often and not, it harms the small country’s interests. He envisions Manila as neither heavily dependent on Washington for its security needs nor become a pawn in China’s greater geopolitical ambitions. He wants to have an independent foreign policy, regardless of deepening U.S.-Chinese competition. One that predominantly benefits his country, Philippines.

In contrast to Duterte, Marcos Jr has a very warm and embracing approach towards the USA. Being treaty allies, Marcos Jr refers to their alliance as “a very important one.” He maintained that the alliance “has stood us in good stead for over a hundred years and that will never disappear from the Philippine psyche, the idea and the memory of what the United States did for us and fought with us in the last war.”

Marcos Jr seems to be a realist who understands that in International Politics, states must “engage whenever possible, and contain wherever necessary.” On asked about Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, he argued that “Philippines will not cede any one square inch to any country, particularly China, but will continue to engage and work on our national interest.”

To summarise, Marcos will, in all probability, modify Duterte’s foreign policy in a way that maximizes the strategic benefits for the Philippines and avoids confrontation with the USA and China.

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Southeast Asia

President Ho Chi Minh’s reflections about international peace



President Ho Chi Minh had a dissimilar way of approaching international peace, and he held a view that the way western nations look into revolution and resurgence, particularly in colonial era, was different from what the people aspired. He took note of developments in colonial societies particularly when Turkish women were protesting against the invasion of Western nations and imperialism, and referred to Indian women protests against British domination way back in 1912. In fact, writing way back in 1918, he stated that the defence of India act was the suppression of genuine domestic grievances because it provided the right to arrest and detain suspected Indians. He was always very supportive of the workers and peasants’ movement across the world.

While congratulating the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru on organising the Asian relations conference, he stated that China and India were the big brothers of Vietnam and the most ancient civilizations.  Writing way back in March 25th 1947, he opined that solidarity will make the three countries the mightiest defenders forwards peace and democracy. He argued that Vietnam was aspiring for unification and independence, and hoped that the Asian countries will come to their support. He stated that it is pertinent for the neighbours to have friendly relations, and alluding to the five principles (Panchsheela) of Nehru-Chau Enlai joint statement, he added that the five major principles which were enlisted in the joint statement between China and India, and Myanmar and China need to be replicated in the larger Asian context.

After the conclusion of the war with French in 1954, he clearly stated that the major challenges for Vietnam was proper implementation of the Geneva accords and sustaining the economy to upgrade the living standards of the people of Vietnam. Responding to a question asked by a journalist related to Geneva accords implementation in Vietnam, he stated that France being a major country and a colonial power, it is pertinent that the ceasefire agreement is implemented fully and this will ensure trust between the signatories. It is also important that scrupulousness in such kind of agreement so as to bring about peace and tranquillity.

He had time and again alluded to the five Panchsheela principles whenever he was giving any interview to the journalists and scholars. He clearly stated that there is need to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity, refrain from violation of each other’s territorial borders, non-interference in internal affairs, equal treatment for mutual benefits and peaceful coexistence. He opined that taking inspiration from India-China agreement, Vietnam would be willing to implement a similar kind of five principles with other countries, primarily Cambodia and Laos. Related to the illegal occupation of Goa by Portugal, he criticized the illegal occupation of Goa by Portuguese and the support that the US has provided to Portugal for continuing illegal occupation.

He talked about solidarity among Asian and African people and stated that for peace to exist the Geneva agreement should be implemented in full. After the first Indochina war, he stated that it is important that the peace as per the provisions of Panchsheela should be implemented at all levels. He has always alluded to Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi while talking about peace, clearly demarcating the role of culture and religion in maintaining peace. He was clearly against western imperialism and occupation of territories by force by any major power. He was also very clear and in one of the letters written on the eve of an interview given to New Delhi people in India, he clearly specified that the situation of world development particularly after the independence of many developing countries was beneficial for the peace movement. He stated that more than 1200 million Asian African people were in the line of peaceful forces and these people were liberated including those in erstwhile Soviet Union and other socialist countries. He lauded the role played by Asian African countries in peace protection and always supported fight against colonialism and Asian people’s solidarity. He was completely against military race, prohibition against nuclear weapons and hydrogen bomb, dismissing aggressive military forces and demolishment of military bases in foreign countries.

His views with regard to arms reduction and working together to reduce the scourge of nuclear bomb were very specific. While responding to the welcome address during the banquet dinner hosted by president of India Rajendra Prasad in 1958, he stated that “the pugnacious forces has been conspiring to push the mankind to the destruction of war. They are ceaselessly fighting to keep and consoled at peace, India made a big contribution. Peaceful forces are more powerful able to prevent the war but the pugnacious forces do not give up their conspiracy to wage their war.” He was really appreciative of any of the peace initiatives undertaken by any country and he has repeatedly thanked international committee which was chaired by India for supervising and controlling Geneva accord implementation in Vietnam.

President Ho Chi Minh was appreciative of the fact that the essence of Buddhism and culture would strengthen the spirit of love towards the country, national solidarity, and bring about cultural essence which will bring closer the eastern and western cultures. He stated that in terms of Buddhism the core philosophy is peace and the construction of the country.

President Ho Chi Minh was specifically influenced by Buddhism and he had stated that the people should practice the life of holy learning and Buddhist simplicity. Even though president Ho Chi Minh did not write and reflected about Buddhism but his life and career were intertwined with the core philosophy of Buddhism. He was very much interested in implementing the idea of peaceful humanity under Buddhism and ushering in Buddhist consciousness in every society. Ho Chi Minh had an idea that the human affection would help in self-improving human ethics and closer bonding with a larger population. Ho Chi Minh’s ideology included mercy, non-egoism, altruism, self-improvement, exercise of moral ethics, and solidarity spirit among masses. The acknowledgement of Buddhism as the core fundamental of life was slowly acknowledged by the Vietnamese people too and as per Ho Chi Minh, he had acquired the Buddhist ideas from family, national tradition, and the Buddhist way for liberating the country.

Taken into cognizance President Ho Chi Minh objective of peace, he was very much concerned with regard to ethics, solidarity, guaranteeing supreme benefits of the nation, bestowing rights and benefits to the people and ingrained self-consciousness which would bring about sincere affectionate, straightforward introspection. This will help in self-criticizing and unifying characters for the larger benefit of the society. He stated that the national solidarity should be in Sync with the international solidarity. In this context it is important to reflect on the Russia Ukraine crisis and he has been very instrumental in referring to Mahatma Gandhi for his approach towards peace and self-suffering. However, Ho Chi Minh was very attached to this concept of abhorrence of repression of the people and was very critical of any kind of imperialism which would subdue people from realising their ambitions and goals. Ukraine crisis also shows a new kind of geopolitics which will define the world order but he was also critical of the fact that international solidarity should be progressive and aspire for a long-lasting peace.

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