India-Indonesia defence cooperation to expand against the background of the tension with China

New Delhi: – Indonesian Defence Minister, General Prabowo Subianto, who is on a visit to India, held discussions with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The stress of the discussion was on expanding defence cooperation between the two countries. Supply of defence technology to Indonesia was discussed in the meeting. There are reports that India may supply even the BrahMos missile to Indonesia. Therefore, while the tension with China is increasing, this defence-related discussion becomes essential.

defence cooperation

Indonesian Defence Minister, General Prabowo Subianto, reached India for a three-day visit on Sunday. Discussions between Indian and Indonesian delegations were held in the presence of the Defence Ministers from both the countries. At this time, Defence Chief Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane, Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Chief Marshal RK Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and many other senior officials were present.

The discussion was satisfactory. There is a tradition of dialogue between the two countries, and the economic exchange between the two countries has increased over the last few years. Rajnath Singh said that the mutual exchanges on the public as well as cultural level also have strengthened. Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction over the increased military cooperation with Indonesia.

Detailed discussions for expanding naval cooperation were held during the meeting. Reports have claimed that the Chinese aggression in Ladakh and the South China Sea also featured in the talks. Some reports have also claimed that India has expressed willingness to supply BraMmos missiles to Indonesia.

Indonesia has challenged the Chinese claim over the South China Sea like the other countries in the region. At the same time, the Sabang port in Indonesia is located right at the entrance of the Strait of Malacca, and two years ago, Indonesia decided to open this port for India for military use. The Indian Navy has increased its deployment in the Strait of Malacca, following the Galwan Valley conflict. Strait of Malacca, the waterway connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, is the main route for Chinese trade and oil movement. Therefore, if this strait is closed, China can be economically cornered.

Therefore, against the background of China becoming aggressive in the South China Sea and India increasing its naval deployment in the Strait of Malacca, the significance of the Indonesian Defence Minister’s visit to India increases further. The willingness expressed by India to supply BrahMos missiles to Indonesia is adding to the Chinese worries.

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