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Indonesia’s Presidential Challenger Wants a Better China Trade Deal

  • Prabowo plans probe on China subsidies, dumping if he wins
  • Concerns about Chinese influence have roiled Asian politics
Prabowo Subianto
Prabowo SubiantoPhotographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg
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Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto vowed to “seek a better deal” in trade with China, making relations with Beijing a key issue ahead of an April election in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Using a strategy that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency and brought Mahathir Mohamad to power in neighboring Malaysia, the former Indonesian general pledged to investigate trade with China and then push for bilateral talks. In the wake of Indonesia posting its worst-ever trade deficit, Subianto, more commonly known as Prabowo, also sharpened his attack on President Joko Widodo’s economic performance.