Australia has been warned to counter Chinese tech influence in Indonesia
Experts say Australia and its allies should provide intensive tech training to Indonesia to counter China’s influence in the region.
China’s influence in the region is countered by intensive tech training from Australia and its allies, according to a new report from the Australian National University National Security College.
Chinese firms have become Indonesia’s go-to for cybersecurity, the report says. According to the report, China is now providing both large amounts of hardware and training at all levels of society – from government officials to rural students.
Dr Dirk van der Kley says the programs are huge and are being provided by major companies such as Huawei,” report co-author
“Huawei alone is potentially training tens of thousands of Indonesians every year. This is steering Indonesia’s current and future tech leaders towards Chinese technology.” says Dr Dirk van der Kley
There was one major sticking point in Australia’s relationship with China: the decision not to permit Huawei to build the country’s 5G network over safety concerns.
According to van der Kley, Indonesia has little resistance to China’s dominance in telecommunications and cyber industries, despite holding ‘deep animosity’ towards the country.
The report suggests that Australia, India, Japan, and the United States should increase technology education in Indonesia.
Dr. Benjamin Herscovitch, co-author of the report, says that Australia, working with the other Quad countries, should provide technology training that improves Indonesia’s technological capacity and offers alternatives to Chinese state-sponsored technology and education.
“The first step for the new Australian government – and by extension, the Quad – should be to provide Indonesia with large-scale, short-term technical education. This is what they desire. China is currently winning that ground,” Dr Herscovitch said.
“Large tech companies from Quad countries should contribute their technology and knowledge to an internationally accredited vocational course. Australia’s vocational education and training sector should also work on establishing people-to-people and educational connections with Indonesia.”
According to Australian Strategic Policy Institute co-author Dr Gatra Priyandita, Australian technology training could help Indonesia combat cybercrime, one of the country’s most significant issues.
Dr Priyandita believes that combating cybercrime is one of Indonesia’s most important cybersecurity challenges.
Despite China’s active ICT agenda in the region, serious short-term vocational training in Indonesia is the right thing to do. It is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to cybercrime.