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 the USA and China.
The three-day safety summit organised by the London-based Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research is taken into account an important 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 through the Shangri-La Dialogue, sharing his ideas on the struggle in Ukraine, and modernising Indonesia’s navy arsenal.
Al Jazeera: In your speech on the Shangri-La Dialogue, you spoke in regards to the “Asian method”. 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 helpful answer. That’s the Asian method.
And it’s the Indonesian method. 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 speak in regards to the variations, we’d not even meet.
Al Jazeera: An enormous focus throughout this summit has been on US-China tensions. What do you see as Indonesia’s position 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 pals. We now have good cooperation with each powers — I’ve mentioned that many instances. America has helped us many instances, in our vital moments. However China has additionally helped us. China has additionally defended us and China is now a really shut associate with Indonesia. And really, 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 now have lots of of years of relationship.
So it’s pure. So, you requested me, what’s our place, nearly as good pals we attempt to be, perhaps a great frequent bridge. If not, then we preserve the nice relationships.
And we’re satisfied that each powers can have smart management. I’m optimistic on that entrance, many individuals, in fact, understandably are involved, and sure there are risks. However I consider the chief of China shall be smart, and the chief of the US additionally. They’re nice powers. The world will count on them to provide us good management.
Al Jazeera: What about a few of the points 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 helpful.
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 occurring for 14-15 years, however we’ve got additionally workout routines with different nations. We additionally plan to have workout routines with China.
Al Jazeera: The US Secretary talked in regards to the scenario in Ukraine, and also you talked about in your speech, you mentioned it’s a very unhappy scenario. Do you might have anything 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 nations 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 buddy to Indonesia all these years. We now have good relations with Russia, they helped us additionally after we had been having difficulties and as I discussed, a buddy in want is a buddy certainly. Always remember pals who helped you. That’s our place.
We are saying all the nice powers should be revered, and their considerations should be revered.
Al Jazeera: You may have made it your precedence to modernise Indonesia’s defence capabilities, how is that going?
Subianto: It’s going effectively, in fact, all the pieces wants what I name an incubation interval, we will’t go to the grocery store and purchase defence tools. I might say it’s going effectively, in fact, I’m fairly impatient, I want it may go quicker, perhaps if I’ve a magic wand.
Al Jazeera: Following your speech, you had been requested in regards to the area and also you mentioned every nation could make their very own choices. Something additional to say on that?
Subianto: Mainly that’s the appropriate 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 believe Indonesia’s place may be very clearly don’t acknowledge the regime in Myanmar
Al Jazeera: Let’s have a look at a home concern in Indonesia. There may be dialogue in regards to the plan to create new provinces in Papua and a few worldwide human rights teams have raised considerations about safety implications and the affect on human rights.
Subianto: There’s at all times this, I might say double requirements or triple normal, something nations like Indonesia do. They at all times attempt to emphasise the potential for human rights abuses. I believe our wants, we’ve got 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 position amongst nations that take a impartial stance?
Subianto: Management will not be one thing that we will award to ourselves. I believe one of the best type of statecraft in my view is to get your personal 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 may be robust assist for me, then I’ve to place myself on the service of my individuals and my nation.