Jokowi backs endeavors to bolster Indonesia's defense diplomacy

Jokowi backs endeavors to bolster Indonesia's defense diplomacy

President Joko Widodo (second right) in the company of Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD (left), Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto (third left), observed weaponry expo held on the sideline of the meeting of top officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense as well as the top military and police brass here on Thursday (Jan 23, 2020). ANTARA PHOTO/M Risyal Hidayat/pras/sh

Hence, we must strengthen our defense diplomacy to muffle interstate tensions
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) gave weightage to the significance of defense diplomacy for Indonesia presently and in future, affirming that the defense sector would face tougher challenges over the widening spectrum of conflicts worldwide.

“Hence, we must strengthen our defense diplomacy to muffle interstate tensions,” he remarked while addressing top officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense as well as the top military and police brass here on Thursday.

Indonesia must be ready with its weaponry at any time and condition to enforce the law within its sovereign territories, he emphasized.

To this end, if some individuals question Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s overseas trips, they are related to Indonesia’s endeavor to intensify its defense diplomacy. Hence, the visits were not ordinary trips, President Jokowi expounded.

Those questioning the defense minister’s overseas trips might have no understanding of defense diplomacy, he stated, adding that he was aware of the fact that the visits were aimed at checking and observing the primary weaponry defense system (Alutsista) that Indonesia is keen to purchase.

Defense Minister Subianto has undertaken a series of overseas visits since being appointed as one of the cabinet members of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin administration last year.

On December 16, 2019, Subianto, for instance, had arrived in Beijing, China, to kick off his three-day visit that would pave the way for both nations to step up cooperation in the defense sector.

On arrival, Subianto was welcomed by Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun, the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing's Deputy Chief of Mission Listyowati, Indonesian Defense Attaché Brig. Gen. Kuat Budiman, and several staffers of the Indonesian Embassy.

Major General Song Yanchao from China's Directorate for International Military Cooperation and several officials of China's Defense Ministry also welcomed Subianto and members of the Indonesian Defense Ministry's delegation.

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During his visit, Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun noted that Subianto met his counterpart, China's Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, and Head of China's Central Military Commission General Xu Qiliang.

Prabowo discussed both nations’ collective efforts to strengthen defense cooperation.

"Indonesia and China have had sound cooperation in the defense sector at both bilateral and regional levels," he noted.
China has also become one of Indonesia's partners in modernizing its defense system, Ambassador Oratmangun remarked.

During his first visit to China, Subianto had also visited the State Administration for Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).

According to NTI.Org, SASTIND is the premier civilian regulatory authority in China whose primary responsibilities encompass drafting guidelines, policies, laws, and regulations related to science.

Before heading to China, Subianto had visited Turkey to strengthen both nations’ cooperation in defense industry.

At a recent limited meeting on programs and activities in the political, legal, and security fields, President Jokowi had highlighted the need for the government to utilize the budget in the defense sector to spur the development of the domestic strategic industry.

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