News analysis

US courts Prabowo amid rivalry with China

But Indonesian Defence Minister, attuned to geopolitical realities, not likely to take sides

Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto was invited to Washington earlier this month, effectively ending two decades of being blacklisted by the US over alleged human rights abuses.
Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto was invited to Washington earlier this month, effectively ending two decades of being blacklisted by the US over alleged human rights abuses.PHOTO: REUTERS

It read a little like a romance novel.

Separated by the Pacific Ocean and a longstanding travel ban to the United States, Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto spoke to United States Defence Secretary Mark Esper by phone a few times on defence cooperation between their countries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2020, with the headline 'US courts Prabowo amid rivalry with China'. Print Edition | Subscribe