Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is an academic at Universitas Islam Indonesia and is a researcher associate at Jakarta-based Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF). His research focuses on China's foreign policy in Indonesia and the Middle East. He completed his PhD on the Belt and Road Initiatives in the Gulf at the University of Manchester in 2018.

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Latest from Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Opinion | For Indonesia’s Santri Muslims, a chance to bridge gap with China on Uygurs

China’s effort to provide scholarships to Santri students can be considered an attempt to legitimise its interests in Indonesia, but in accepting the scholarships, the Santri students need to raise their voices on the plight of the Uygurs.

China’s effort to provide scholarships to Santri students can be considered an attempt to legitimise its interests in Indonesia, but in accepting the scholarships, the Santri students need to raise their voices on the plight of the Uygurs.

For Indonesia’s Santri Muslims, a chance to bridge gap with China on Uygurs
9 Dec 2020 - 10:00AM
Opinion | Indonesia’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine trial raises safety, affordability concerns

The vaccine candidate known as CoronaVac is set to be tested on some 1,620 volunteers in Indonesia starting this week, but big questions hang over who will get it if it proves successful – and whether it will work at all.

The vaccine candidate known as CoronaVac is set to be tested on some 1,620 volunteers in Indonesia starting this week, but big questions hang over who will get it if it proves successful – and whether it will work at all.

Indonesia’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine trial raises safety, affordability concerns
25 Nov 2020 - 8:42PM
Opinion | Is Indonesia moving towards Japan and away from China? Just follow the railway tracks

The cost of China’s section of the venture and negative local sentiment towards Beijing all play a part, as do confrontations in the Natuna Sea.

The cost of China’s section of the venture and negative local sentiment towards Beijing all play a part, as do confrontations in the Natuna Sea.

Is Indonesia moving towards Japan and away from China? Just follow the railway tracks
9 Jul 2020 - 6:12PM
Opinion | Coronavirus can strengthen China’s ties with Indonesia

When this pandemic passes, Indonesia will need Chinese investment more than ever. Even so, Beijing should be wary of taking its foot off its soft-power pedal.

When this pandemic passes, Indonesia will need Chinese investment more than ever. Even so, Beijing should be wary of taking its foot off its soft-power pedal.

Coronavirus can strengthen China’s ties with Indonesia
12 Apr 2020 - 11:47AM
Asian Angle | Coronavirus: Covid-19 could live on in Indonesia long after world recovers

The country’s remote, isolated islands offer a perfect hiding spot for the coronavirus to fester if the Jokowi government fails to act swiftly enough.

The country’s remote, isolated islands offer a perfect hiding spot for the coronavirus to fester if the Jokowi government fails to act swiftly enough.

Coronavirus: Covid-19 could live on in Indonesia long after world recovers
22 Mar 2020 - 1:06PM
Opinion | Fears of drug abuse aside, Indonesia should give medical marijuana more thought

The government’s careful attitude towards cannabis is not wrong. But it should be flexible to consider if marijuana can meet the medical needs of Indonesians.

The government’s careful attitude towards cannabis is not wrong. But it should be flexible to consider if marijuana can meet the medical needs of Indonesians.

Fears of drug abuse aside, Indonesia should give medical marijuana more thought
8 Mar 2020 - 5:00PM
Opinion | Can Indonesians trust Jokowi’s government in the coronavirus crisis?

Now that there are two confirmed cases, Indonesia needs to ensure its agencies are on the same page, follow WHO recommendations and improve transparency to prevent the epidemic from escalating.

Now that there are two confirmed cases, Indonesia needs to ensure its agencies are on the same page, follow WHO recommendations and improve transparency to prevent the epidemic from escalating.

Can Indonesians trust Jokowi’s government in the coronavirus crisis?
4 Mar 2020 - 5:15PM
Opinion | No coronavirus, but Indonesia’s handling of Wuhan evacuees highlights erosion of trust

Jakarta put 238 of its citizens evacuated from Wuhan into quarantine on the Natuna Islands without telling local authorities or residents it was making the move.

Jakarta put 238 of its citizens evacuated from Wuhan into quarantine on the Natuna Islands without telling local authorities or residents it was making the move.

No coronavirus, but Indonesia’s handling of Wuhan evacuees highlights erosion of trust
19 Feb 2020 - 5:35PM
Opinion | To feed a hungry nation, Indonesia can follow China’s blueprint

Despite seeing solid economic growth over the past decade, Indonesia still cannot meet the food needs of nearly 20 million people.

Despite seeing solid economic growth over the past decade, Indonesia still cannot meet the food needs of nearly 20 million people.

To feed a hungry nation, Indonesia can follow China’s blueprint
11 Feb 2020 - 10:34AM
Opinion | China could be key partner in lifting Indonesia’s pharmaceutical industry

Indonesia’s health care system has flourished because of reforms, but the country’s pharmaceuticals sector faces a price squeeze because of the high cost of raw materials.

Indonesia’s health care system has flourished because of reforms, but the country’s pharmaceuticals sector faces a price squeeze because of the high cost of raw materials.

China could be key partner in lifting Indonesia’s pharmaceutical industry
3 Feb 2020 - 10:09AM
Opinion | As Indonesia stands up to China in the Natuna islands, can Japan come to the rescue?

Indonesia recently forced Chinese fishing vessels from its Natuna islands, as it strengthened relations with Japan. But how will these closer Japanese ties help Indonesia face off against China?

Indonesia recently forced Chinese fishing vessels from its Natuna islands, as it strengthened relations with Japan. But how will these closer Japanese ties help Indonesia face off against China?

As Indonesia stands up to China in the Natuna islands, can Japan come to the rescue?
17 Jan 2020 - 10:12AM
Opinion | Why Indonesia and Hong Kong must resolve issues faced by domestic workers

News of hardships endured by domestic workers dominates media coverage of Hong Kong’s ties with Indonesia, which span trade, investment and tourism.

News of hardships endured by domestic workers dominates media coverage of Hong Kong’s ties with Indonesia, which span trade, investment and tourism.

Why Indonesia and Hong Kong must resolve issues faced by domestic workers
8 Dec 2019 - 9:04PM
Opinion | Indonesia must speak up against China on Uygurs. Look at what Gambia did for the Rohingya

The Southeast Asian nation should use diplomatic platforms such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to raise the plight of China’s Muslim minorities allegedly being held in internment camps.

The Southeast Asian nation should use diplomatic platforms such as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to raise the plight of China’s Muslim minorities allegedly being held in internment camps.

Indonesia must speak up against China on Uygurs. Look at what Gambia did for the Rohingya
18 Dec 2019 - 2:41PM
Asian Angle | Why Indonesia’s the winner of the next China-Japan economic battle

Jakarta is in the middle of a tug of war between Beijing and Tokyo for economic influence. As recent investment figures make clear, that’s an enviable place to be. 

Jakarta is in the middle of a tug of war between Beijing and Tokyo for economic influence. As recent investment figures make clear, that’s an enviable place to be. 

Why Indonesia’s the winner of the next China-Japan economic battle
18 Dec 2019 - 2:04PM
Opinion | Indonesia’s pre-social media laws are no match for animal traffickers

In just one year, WWF Indonesia identified 2,500 adverts on Facebook and 2,207 ads on Instagram that were selling either animals or their body parts.

In just one year, WWF Indonesia identified 2,500 adverts on Facebook and 2,207 ads on Instagram that were selling either animals or their body parts.

Indonesia’s pre-social media laws are no match for animal traffickers
17 Sep 2019 - 3:44PM
Opinion | How the US-China currency war will impact Indonesia

Beijing’s devaluation of the yuan and Trump’s decision to label China a currency manipulator have seen the trade war escalate to a new level – one that will reach Jakarta, pressuring the rupiah and widening Indonesia’s trade deficit.

Beijing’s devaluation of the yuan and Trump’s decision to label China a currency manipulator have seen the trade war escalate to a new level – one that will reach Jakarta, pressuring the rupiah and widening Indonesia’s trade deficit.

How the US-China currency war will impact Indonesia
19 Aug 2019 - 12:24PM
Opinion | Indonesia still wants Chinese investments, but Jokowi is also wooing Middle East money

Jakarta needs to drum up foreign capital to boost lacklustre economic growth so is looking to renew deep-rooted historical ties with the Middle East.

Jakarta needs to drum up foreign capital to boost lacklustre economic growth so is looking to renew deep-rooted historical ties with the Middle East.

Indonesia still wants Chinese investments, but Jokowi is also wooing Middle East money
12 Dec 2019 - 1:34PM
Opinion | US-China trade war: Vietnam might get Apple, but Indonesia can get a bite of the action, too

Countries like Vietnam stand to benefit as companies like Apple leave China for more profitable markets. But for Indonesia to benefit, some innovative, outward-looking policy decisions will be needed

Countries like Vietnam stand to benefit as companies like Apple leave China for more profitable markets. But for Indonesia to benefit, some innovative, outward-looking policy decisions will be needed

US-China trade war: Vietnam might get Apple, but Indonesia can get a bite of the action, too
20 Jun 2019 - 10:40AM
Opinion | Oil is just the start of China’s belt and road interest in the Gulf

Part of the reason for Beijing’s presence in the region is the pressing need to resolve its overcapacity problem – and to facilitate the flow of trade and investment between China and the Gulf.

Part of the reason for Beijing’s presence in the region is the pressing need to resolve its overcapacity problem – and to facilitate the flow of trade and investment between China and the Gulf.

Oil is just the start of China’s belt and road interest in the Gulf
7 Jun 2019 - 9:20PM
What’s driving Indonesian paranoia over Chinese workers?

The number of Chinese workers in Indonesia is tiny, yet they are often the target of fake news, as happened in post-election riots that killed 8 people in Jakarta

The number of Chinese workers in Indonesia is tiny, yet they are often the target of fake news, as happened in post-election riots that killed 8 people in Jakarta

What’s driving Indonesian paranoia over Chinese workers?
4 Jun 2019 - 10:48AM
Opinion | Indonesia could be Beijing’s best belt and road friend

With a blossoming economy and strategic location, the archipelago has much to offer Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to grow global trade.

With a blossoming economy and strategic location, the archipelago has much to offer Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to grow global trade.

Indonesia could be Beijing’s best belt and road friend
15 May 2019 - 2:51PM