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Jakarta Post

TNI eyes closer cooperation with China

TNI eyes closer cooperation with China
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Wed, February 26, 2014

Cordial greeting: Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Moeldoko and Beijing Air Defense Command Center commander Brig. Gen. Zhang Peng (left) inspect a guard of honor as Moeldoko arrives at the host'€™s headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday. Moeldoko will be in China until Friday. Antara/Rini Utami

The Indonesian Military (TNI) asserted its readiness to cooperate with any country, including China, to maintain stability in the region.

'€œThe TNI is ready to cooperate to maintain regional security based on the principles of mutual respect and equality,'€ TNI chief Gen. Moeldoko said during a meeting with the People'€™s Liberation Army (PLA) chief of general staff, Gen. Fang Fenghui, as reported by Antara news agency on Tuesday.

During the meeting at the PLA headquarters, Moeldoko said he expected that good bilateral relations would also increase military-to-military cooperations.

'€œIndonesia and China agreed to become strategic partners in 2005, which was followed by the signing of the Strategic Partnership Action Plan in 2010 as well as the Joint Communique,'€ he said on Tuesday, the second day of his five-day visit.

Both countries upgraded the strategic partnership to become more comprehensive in 2013.

'€œIn the defense sector, Indonesia and China agreed on the Defense Consultation Forum in 2007 and defense industrial cooperation in 2011,'€ Moeldoko said.

China, for example, agreed to assist Indonesia in the local manufacturing of the C-705 anti-ship missile in a transfer-of-technology scheme.

Moeldoko, who was installed as TNI chief on Aug. 30, 2013, said cooperations between both countries included visits by high-ranking officers, military service student exchanges and joint anti terror exercises.

The Indonesian Army'€™s Special Forces (Kopassus) and the Indonesian Air Force'€™s Special Forces (Korpaskhas) have held joint exercises with their Chinese counterparts.

Both countries'€™ navies in 2013 agreed on a biennial navy-to-navy cooperation meeting, while Indonesia sent its pilots to train in Sukhoi Su-27/30 jet fighter simulators in China.

Meanwhile, Fang welcomed the TNI'€™s commitment to increase relations and cooperations with the PLA.

'€œImproving relations in various sectors, especially politics and trade, are supported by good military cooperation between [our] militaries,'€ he said.

Fang added that Indonesia took China into consideration in every development in the region, including involving China in the Komodo multilateral joint exercise in March.

Other than China, the Komodo multilateral joint exercise will also involve all 10 ASEAN member states plus Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the US.

The exercise will be held in the waters off Natuna and Anambas Islands in the Riau Islands and will involve 28 warships and 4,000 personnel.

'€œChina respects Indonesia in various interests to maintain regional security, stability, peace and prosperity,'€ Fang asserted.

Earlier in the morning, Moeldoko visited the Beijing Air Defense Command Center and was welcomed by commander Brig. Gen. Zhang Peng. The command center oversees the cities of Beijing and Tianjing as well as Hebei and Shanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Moeldoko is also scheduled to meet National Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wangquan and Central Military Commission vice chairman Gen. Fang Changlong.

Visits to the PLA Air Force base and PLA Navy base in Tianjin were also in the cards, Indonesian military attache to Beijing, Col. Samuel Kowaas told Antara.