"Mutual visits of defense ministerial officials from both countries describe how firm the defense relations between the two countries are," he stated while being welcomed by the Minister of Defense of China General Chang Wangquan in Beijing on Monday.
A military ceremony in the headquarters of Chinas Central Military Committee was organized to welcome Purnomo. He then proceeded to hold a bilateral meeting regarding the development of defense and military ties between the two countries.
Indonesia and China hold an annual Defense Bilateral Consultation Forum, which is led by the deputy defense ministers from both sides and also hold a director general-level Defense Strategic Dialogue.
"We also have exchange of student officers to study in the defense and military institutions of both countries. These education and joint exercises are getting firmer and extensive," Purnomo emphasized.
Indonesia and China have also held a dialogue forum between the Indonesian Navy and the Peoples Liberation Army of China (PLA) called Navy to Navy Cooperation Meeting (NTNCM).
"Tiongkok (China) has also become one of the sources for the modernization of Indonesias military weapon systems, in line with the governments policy to ensure diversification in developing the weapon systems for the Indonesian military," he stated.
Hence, he pointed out that the cooperation with China is crucial for developing the weapon systems for Indonesian defense forces.
Agreeing to Purnomos viewpoint, General Chang Wangqun noted that the defense and military relations with Indonesia have become increasingly firm in the last five years.
He remarked that during the last five years, defense ties between Indonesia and China have developed and had comprehensive achievements, not only through mutual visits by high-ranking officials but also the exchange of student officers and joint exercises.
Defense cooperation between these two countries was initiated with the signing of the Indonesia-China Defense Cooperation agreement on November 7, 2007.
(T. Rini Utami/Uu.SDP-93/A/KR-BSR/O001)