Separatist Movements Influenced by International Intervention: The Case of West Papua

  •  Yue Pan    
  •  Qin Xiao    


The West Papua issue emerged in Indonesia in 2019 as a separatist movement, influenced by international intervention from Pacific Island nations. The core factors were West Papuans' desire for self-determination, together with ethnic and cultural differences. However, previous self-determination efforts had been unconvincing. This article aims to explore how Pacific Island countries intervened internationally in West Papua issue and how did Indonesia's Jokowi Administration respond to international intervention. In response, the administration adopted a multi-faceted strategy. Domestically, it pursued peaceful dialogue, economic development and some force suppression. Internationally, it strengthened investment, trade and assistance to Pacific Islands while voicing criticism of foreign intervention. Although not completely resolving the issue, the administration upheld national sovereignty and expanded international ties using diverse approaches. This provides insights into managing similar territorial disputes by balancing sovereign integrity with nuanced foreign relations. While separatism was not fully calmed, Indonesia's strategy highlights the importance of collaborative policymaking to maintain national unity amid complex dynamics.

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