Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has embarked on his first working visit to China to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the defense sector.
Upon arriving in Beijing on Sunday for a three-day working visit, the minister was greeted by Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun, Indonesian Defense Attache in Beijing Brig. Gen. Kuat Budiman as well as Maj. Gen. Song Yanchao of the Chinese International Military Cooperation directorate.
Prabowo is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart and other officials to talk about Indonesia and China's joint efforts to enhance cooperation in defense, Djauhari said.
"Indonesia has been involved in good cooperation with China in terms of defense, both at the bilateral and regional levels. China has also been our partner in our attempts to modernize our defense system," he said on Sunday as quoted by Antara.
During his time in Beijing, Prabowo will meet with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and the deputy chairman of China's Central Military Commission, Xu Qiliang.
The Indonesian minister is also scheduled to visit the Chinese State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), which manages the strategic and defense industry in the country.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo chose Prabowo – a former military general and his erstwhile rival in the April election – to helm the Defense Ministry in October.
Prabowo replaced Ryamizard Ryacudu, who had led the ministry for nearly five years after joining Jokowi's first-term Cabinet at the very beginning.
The government is currently scrambling to reach its targets in modernizing weaponry systems, after recently falling behind the target due to mounting amounts spent on personnel and maintenance of older equipment. (kuk)