News / Asia

Indonesia Steps Up Threats in Australia Row

FILE - Indonesia's Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
FILE - Indonesia's Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Reuters
Indonesia's diplomatic rift with Australia over phone bugging accusations threatened to widen on Tuesday after the trade minister said Southeast Asia's biggest economy was looking elsewhere for food imports.
 
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the suspension of military and police cooperation last week over the politically sensitive issue of asylum seekers using Indonesian territory to sail to Australia and revelations of Australian intelligence services tapping the mobile phones of the president, his wife and several of his top advisors. The source for the reports was documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
 
“There are other places that I think can help us with our food security aspirations,” Gita Wirjawan told foreign journalists in the Indonesian capital. “We are looking at those possibilities.”
 
Indonesia is a major importer of Australian wheat, live cattle, beef and some raw sugar. Australia is Indonesia's 10th-largest export market.
 
Wirjawan, who has already begun his campaign for next July's presidential election, said he had asked parliament to look into regulations that limit imports from certain countries.
 
Currently, Indonesian law only allows cattle imports from Australia and New Zealand because of concerns over foot and mouth disease.
 
Asked if he was concerned about beef and cattle imports from other counties, Wirjawan replied that he knew, “Malaysia imports a lot of beef from India from zones that are safe from [foot and mouth disease] and other diseases.”
 
However, he added, the government “will certainly be mindful of the need to maintain stability in prices.”
 
Australia is Indonesia's main supplier of beef, surging prices of which became a major issue earlier this year by helping to drive up inflation.
 
The government was forced to relax import quotas to meet demand.
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wrote to Yudhoyono on the weekend regarding the spying row, but neither side has made public details of the letter.

You May Like

Multimedia Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid