Jokowi highlights dovish diplomacy, Prabowo more into hawkish

Amman (ANTARA) – Incumbent President Joko Widodo and his contender Prabowo Subianto were showing two

polarized approaches of dovish and hawkish views on the international relations segment at the fourth

presidential debate in Jakarta on Saturday night.

Joko Widodo (Jokowi) highlighted Indonesian capacity in mediating in a number of international conflicts

and Indonesia’s soft diplomacy power in several international trade negotiations, while Prabowo Subianto

was keeping score on the Indonesian defense capacity that he considered still weak and hence should be

further strengthened.

During the fourth presidential debate at the Hotel Shangri-la, discussing defense, security, and international relations, Jokowi mentioned two major Indonesian roles as a conflict mediator in the Rohingya issue and peace process in Afghanistan.

“We have been asked by the UN to help Rohingyan refugees’ repatriation from Cox’s Bazaar to Rakhine State,”

he noted.

Meanwhile, Prabowo said that “smiley diplomats” approach, or his term for soft diplomacy, is not

enough to defense Indonesia’s national core interests.

“Diplomacy cannot be done with only talk, it has to be backed up with power, if we are not strong, we

lose. Maybe he (some diplomat) smile at us as he is paid to be a nice man, while measuring our

strength,” he noted.

Both candidates also offered different approaches to strengthen Indonesian diplomacy. Jokowi said that Indonesia has a large potential as the world’s largest Muslim majority country to involve in peace process in some conflict areas as well as to increase trade values by using economic


Meanwhile, Prabowo wanted to increase Indonesia’s military equipment for preventive defense mechanism, in which he noted that neighboring countries, like Singapore is more advanced.

The fourth presidential debate was organized by the General Election Commission (KPU) as part of the process of presidential election to be held simultaneously with legislative elections on April 17, 2019, across Indonesia.

Source: ANTARA News