Indonesia is a regional country that previously established defense and security relations with Vietnam, when in 1964, Indonesia officially opened its Defense Attaché Office in Hanoi, while Vietnam set up its Defense Attaché Office in Jakarta in 1985.

General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnamese Defense Minister receiving his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu in Hanoi in August 2016

Recently, the two sides have exchanged a number of visits of high-ranking defense delegations, including defense ministers and senior military officers.

Since 2015, the bilateral defense relations have witnessed five high-ranking defense delegations visiting each other, including Vietnam’s Air Defense - Air Force Commander’s visit and participation in the ASEAN Air Force Commanders’ Meeting in September 2016, Vietnamese naval ships led by a Deputy Naval Commander participating in an international fleet review and the multilateral naval exercise Komodo in Indonesia in April 2016, a Vietnamese Deputy Naval Commander's visit to the international meeting for Maritime Security in Indonesia in September 2016, Indonesia’s Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s visits to Vietnam in November 2015 and April 2017 and Indonesia’s Defense Minister’s visit to Vietnam in August 2016.

Alongside the exchange of the high-ranking visits, Vietnam and Indonesia continuously enhance bilateral cooperation between the two navies, air forces and coast guard forces and cooperation on military personnel training, UN peacekeeping operations and anti-terrorism.

As the two countries share a maritime borderline, Vietnam and Indonesia also focus on promoting cooperation on maritime security, search and rescue and fishermen support.

At the same time, Vietnam and Indonesia actively consult and support each other at regional defense cooperation mechanisms within the frameworks of ASEAN and ASEAN and its partners, particularly the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM+ (plus defense ministers from ASEAN’s partners). The two countries’ defense cooperation at the regional forums helps improve each country’s status and position and also contributes to promoting unity and consensus within the bloc.

During Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Indonesia last August, both Vietnamese Party Chief and Indonesia President Joko Widodo highly valued the positive outcomes of the bilateral defense ties, saying that the bilateral defense cooperation is a highlight in the overall relations between the two countries over the past time. The two leaders also agreed that the two sides should promote defense cooperation as an important pillar in the bilateral relations and strive to achieve more practical outcomes in the coming time.

Particularly, the two leaders agreed to coordinate closely with each other in the fight against terrorism, cyber and hi-tech crimes, human and drug trafficking and transnational crimes.

The two sides also agreed to accelerate the negotiation process on exclusive economic zone demarcation, quickly reach comprehensive solutions to the remaining maritime issues between the two countries and handle legally-breached fishing boats and fishermen of the other country in a spirit of humanity, friendship and unity of ASEAN and in accordance with the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership while respecting each other’s sovereignty.  

In short, Vietnam and Indonesia bilateral defense cooperation has seen positive developments in recent times.

Vietnam always wishes to promote defense ties with Indonesia for the mutual benefits of the two countries and for stability, peace and development in the region.

Translated by Thu Nguyen