Singapore – As defence chiefs from across the Asia-Pacific collect in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue, a lot of the main target has been on rising tensions between america and China.
The three-day safety summit organised by the London-based Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research is taken into account a very powerful defence-related convention within the area. This yr, greater than a dozen defence chiefs from all over the world, together with the US, China, and extra, are attending.
After a two-year hiatus, the occasion has returned and attracted high-profile company, together with the Indonesian defence chief and former presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.
The previous lieutenant basic met with Al Jazeera’s Jessica Washington in the course of the Shangri-La Dialogue, sharing his ideas on the struggle in Ukraine, and modernising Indonesia’s army arsenal.
Al Jazeera: In your speech on the Shangri-La Dialogue, you spoke concerning the “Asian manner”. The place does Indonesia match into that concept?
Subianto: That’s our tradition that we at all times attempt to resolve issues with negotiations, with interactions, with engagement, and we carry on participating, we carry on discussing till we come to an amicable, mutually useful answer. That’s the Asian manner.
And it’s the Indonesian manner. We name it musyawarah mufakat (dialogue to succeed in an answer) and we name it gotong royong (working collectively). We search for frequent pursuits; if we at all times discuss concerning the variations, we’d not even meet.
Al Jazeera: A giant focus throughout this summit has been on US-China tensions. What do you see as Indonesia’s function in coping with these tensions?
Subianto: We’re in the actual and precise place that we respect and we’re pleasant, and we’re good associates. We’ve good cooperation with each powers — I’ve mentioned that many occasions. America has helped us many occasions, in our crucial moments. However China has additionally helped us. China has additionally defended us and China is now a really shut companion with Indonesia. And truly, China has at all times been the main civilization in Asia. Lots of our sultans, kings, our princes in these days, they might marry princesses from China. We’ve lots of of years of relationship.
So it’s pure. So, you requested me, what’s our place, nearly as good associates we attempt to be, possibly an excellent frequent bridge. If not, then we keep the nice relationships.
And we’re satisfied that each powers may have sensible management. I’m optimistic on that entrance, many individuals, after all, understandably are involved, and sure there are risks. However I consider the chief of China might be sensible, and the chief of the US additionally. They’re nice powers. The world will anticipate them to offer us good management.
Al Jazeera: What about among the features of Indonesia-China relationships, the place there are variations of opinions… for instance the South China Sea. How do you navigate these challenges?
Subianto: As I mentioned with good relations, good communication with direct contacts, we will come to an amicable understanding that’s mutually useful.
Al Jazeera: The US Secretary of Protection, earlier within the speech talked about Indonesia, particularly the naval train referred to as Garuda Defend…
Subianto: Garuda Defend has been happening for 14-15 years, however we’ve additionally workouts with different international locations. We additionally plan to have workouts with China.
Al Jazeera: The US Secretary talked concerning the scenario in Ukraine, and also you talked about in your speech, you mentioned it’s a very unhappy scenario. Do you’ve the rest to say on that?
Subianto: Traditionally, geopolitically, there are at all times two variations to a narrative. Indonesia, as you recognize we voted with the various western international locations in opposing the invasion of Ukraine — that’s our place on the invasion.
However as soon as once more, I wish to say that Russia has been an excellent pal to Indonesia all these years. We’ve good relations with Russia, they helped us additionally after we have been having difficulties and as I discussed, a pal in want is a pal certainly. Always remember associates who helped you. That’s our place.
We are saying all the good powers should be revered, and their issues should be revered.
Al Jazeera: You have got made it your precedence to modernise Indonesia’s defence capabilities, how is that going?
Subianto: It’s going effectively, after all, every thing wants what I name an incubation interval, we will’t go to the grocery store and purchase defence tools. I’d say it’s going effectively, after all, I’m fairly impatient, I want it may go quicker, possibly if I’ve a magic wand.
Al Jazeera: Following your speech, you have been requested concerning the area and also you mentioned every nation could make their very own selections. Something additional to say on that?
Subianto: Mainly that’s the suitable of each nation to evaluate their very own safety wants. So I can’t inform the Australians or the British what they need to do. I additionally don’t need them to inform us what to do. We respect one another.
Al Jazeera: Can I ask to your views on the scenario in Myanmar?
Subianto: I feel Indonesia’s place could be very clearly don’t acknowledge the regime in Myanmar
Al Jazeera: Let’s take a look at a home difficulty in Indonesia. There may be dialogue concerning the plan to create new provinces and a few worldwide human rights teams have raised issues about safety implications and the affect on human rights.
Subianto: There’s at all times this, I’d say double requirements or triple customary, something international locations like Indonesia do. They at all times attempt to emphasise the opportunity of human rights abuses. I feel our wants, we’ve huge areas and that has been in dialogue and planning for a few years.
Al Jazeera: Indonesia’s overseas coverage has lengthy been guided by the phrase ‘free and energetic’. Do you see Indonesia as having a management function amongst international locations that take a impartial stance?
Subianto: Management shouldn’t be one thing that we will award to ourselves. I feel the very best type of statecraft for my part is to get your individual home so as. If we deal with our personal home in good order, individuals will look to us.
Al Jazeera: Talking of management, your plans for 2024 — Are you planning to run for the presidency?
If I’m wanted, if there’s sturdy help for me, then I’ve to place myself on the service of my individuals and my nation.