House Leadership Ensures No Foreign Military Bases in Indonesia
House Vice Speaker for Economic and Financial Affairs, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad. Photo : Yoga/Man
House Vice Speaker for Economic and Financial Affairs, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, denied rumors that China would build a military base in Indonesian territory as stated in the US Department of Defense’s annual report, saying that Indonesia with its free and active foreign policy would not serve as military bases for any foreign country.
“China is not the only country considering Indonesia as locations for its military base. Other countries like the US also share the same interest. But again, it is all just a consideration,” Ahmad told reporters at Nusantara Building III in the parliamentary complex, Jakarta, on Friday (4/9/2020). The Indonesian government through its Foreign Affairs Ministry also denied the rumor, he added.
“It’s clear that Indonesia with its absolute sovereignty and free and active foreign policy will not serve as military bases for any foreign country,” said the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) politician. “Instead, we have a vital role in promoting peace and security in ASEAN region. So, we can say that rumors about it are not true.”
Previously, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi responded to a United States Department of Defense report mentioning Indonesia as one of the suitable locations for the Chinese military logistics base. The Pentagon's annual report entitled "Military and Security Development Involving the People's Republic of China 2020" reveals China's plan to build a military logistics network in the Asia Pacific region.
"I firmly emphasize that under the Indonesian foreign policy principles, Indonesian territory cannot and will not be used as a military base for any country," Marsudi asserted while delivering a virtual press statement on Friday.
As reported in the 200-page report, China considers Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries in Africa and Central Asia as the suitable locations to realize this agenda. The Chinese government has criticized the Pentagon report, which also mentions China’s plan to double the number of nuclear warheads in the next decade.
"China has probably considered Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan as its People Liberation Army’s logistics facilities,” the Pentagon annual report stated. The report also mentioned that China has matched or even outstripped the US military power in certain areas.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Defense stated that the report is a total misinterpretation and has tarnished the reputation of Chinese military. The Chinese government claimed that the report is the latest example of the US’ fear to admit its military budget as the highest in the world. (ann/sf)