The Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives has ratified defense agreements between the Indonesian government and the Chinese and Germany governments, passing two bills into law on Tuesday.
“Defense cooperation is needed to keep our sovereignty, to build our country and to allow us to participate in the creation of the world order,” said deputy chairman of the House’s Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs Asril Hamzah Tandjung during a plenary meeting at the House complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.
One of the new laws ratifies a defense agreement previously achieved between the government of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and its Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Nov.27, 2007. The other law ratifies a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Indonesia-Germany defense cooperation signed in Berlin by Defense Deputy Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin and Germany’s State Secretary at the Defense Ministry Rüdiger Wolf in February 2012.
The defense cooperation between Indonesia and Germany would include military training, research and development, disaster management, military logistics, healthcare and peacekeeping missions, Sjafrie said as quoted by Antara.
In December 2013, as a follow up the defense agreement achieved by Indonesia and China in 2007, then Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan met to discuss defense-related matters. After the meeting, Purnomo had said Indonesia and China would launch a joint special forces exercise and that China would help Indonesia to strengthen its defense capacity through a military technology transfer.
“We will also talk about the procurement of the SU-27 and SU-35 Sukhoi aircraft made by China for the Indonesian Air Force,” said Purnomo during the meeting as quoted by Tempo.
In June 2014, then presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said during his election campaign that he aimed to triple Indonesia’s defense and security budget to improve the professionalism of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police.
“If Indonesia’s economic growth stands at least at 7 percent, to improve our national security system, I aim to allocate up to 1.5 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] for defense,” he said.
“With the approval of the two bills, there is henceforth a legal protection for the defense cooperation between Indonesia and those two countries,” said Defense Minister Ryamizad Ryacudu at the plenary meeting. (vps/ebf)
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