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International relations

Jokowi plays Indo-Pacific power game, meeting with U.S. and Russia

U.S. secretary of state wants Indonesia to take leadership role in key region

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Dec. 13. (Handout photo by the Indonesian Presidential Palace)   © Reuters

JAKARTA/NEW YORK -- Indonesia demonstrated its balanced foreign policy on Monday as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo hosted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Russian security official Nikolai Patrushev in back-to-back meetings.

Widodo received Blinken at the presidential palace in Jakarta immediately after the secretary's arrival Monday afternoon. Blinken's visit -- the first leg of his maiden Southeast Asia tour this week, which includes stops in Malaysia and Thailand -- is widely seen as signaling Washington's greater outreach to a region where China has been wielding power.

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