Indonesia’s new defence minister, the former special forces general Prabowo Subianto. Photo: AP

As US dithers over human rights, China opens its arms to Prabowo Subianto, the Indonesian defence minister with a chequered past

  • The former special forces general Prabowo Subianto is barred from the US due to claims he was involved in rights abuses during the Suharto era
  • But with China and Russia ready to do business with him, the US may have to balance his chequered past with his new-found importance
Topic |   Human rights

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Indonesia’s new defence minister, the former special forces general Prabowo Subianto. Photo: AP
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Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia’s new Defence Minister. Photo: Reuters

Should China be concerned about Indonesia’s new defence minister, Prabowo Subianto?

  • Prabowo, a former general, was suspected of playing a role in the May 1998 riots that targeted Chinese Indonesians
  • His ambivalence towards China will continue but he cannot turn back the clock on Indonesia’s growing security ties with its neighbour to the north
Topic |   Indonesia

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Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia’s new Defence Minister. Photo: Reuters
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