As Indonesia president-elect Prabowo wraps up rare visits to China and Japan, is his foreign policy becoming clearer?

As Indonesia president-elect Prabowo wraps up rare visits to China and Japan, is his foreign policy becoming clearer?

The visits have caused a lot of media attention, with some presenting Mr. Prabowo’s second international tour since becoming president. Some even criticized the innovation of an Indonesian president-elect making official travel arrangements abroad.

There has never been such a president-elect in Indonesia. Cases in level- outgoing president Joko Widodo, also for his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who won Indonesia’s first primary presidential election in 2004.

However, researchers CNA spoke to had cautioned about reading too much into the improvements.

Dr. Christine Susanna Tjhin, co-founder and chairman of the Gentala Institute, explained that in Indonesia, there is no legal device that controls the president-elect’s power and travels abroad. &nbsp,

She thinks Mr. Prabowo’s meeting with Mr. Xi was a diplomatic gesture from the Chinese administration, who was already in Beijing.

” The visit to China has actually been on the agenda of ( Indonesia’s ) Ministry of Defence since the end of 2023 or early 2024″, she added.

More accurately reflect Mr. Prabowo’s foreign policy direction, according to the appointment of important supervisory positions and the real official state visits following his inauguration.

Mr. Radityo said a possible China visit had been planned prior to the president’s success, echoing his sentiments.

” I may say that this is a good plan from China because Indonesia is a significant person in the region and that Mr. Prabowo and Indonesia are important lovers,” he said.


The trip to China by Mr Prabowo, who is also Indonesia’s present defence minister, was framed separately by China and Indonesia.

China’s overseas government referred to the 72- yr- old as “president- vote of Indonesia and Great Indonesia Movement Party ( Gerindra ) public president” when announcing his visit. Additionally, a spokesperson added that China would be Mr. Prabowo’s initial foreign country to visit after winning the presidency.

During their conversation, President Xi himself brought up this issue. He informed Mr. Prabowo that you made a special trip to China during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as part of your initial post-election attend.

In contrast, Indonesia’s defence ministry referred to Mr Prabowo as” Minister of Defence” in a media release describing his meeting with President Xi. Additionally, Mr. Prabowo’s national campaign’s spokesperson stated that his visit to China as defense secretary would improve bilateral cooperation, particularly in terms of defense matters.

Experts say the target by China on Mr Prabowo being Indonesia’s future chief is purposeful, particularly as it vies with the United States for local control.

” It is China’s way of posturing, to show that they move faster than the US in dealing with ( Indonesia’s ) next president”, said international law professor Hikmahanto Juwana at the University of Indonesia.

The fresh administration’s friendly diplomatic and economic relationship is being preserved by China’s action, the statement reads. Thus, we saw a somewhat’ special therapy’ by Mr Xi towards Mr Prabowo in this visit”, Prof Juwana added.

In 2022, China and Indonesia’s bilateral deal totaled about US$ 150 billion, which is more than triple what it was in 2013. Foreign investment in Indonesia came in at US$ 8.2 billion in 2022 as also, placing China as the country’s next- largest investment after Singapore.