July 28, 2023
CHENGDU – President Xi Jinping highlighted on Thursday China’s readiness to deepen strategic cooperation with Indonesia to set an example for developing countries in sharing a common future, strengthening solidarity and seeking joint development.
He also called on both nations to inject further certainty and positive energy into the region and the world.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting in Chengdu, Sichuan province, with visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is to attend the opening ceremony of the Chengdu FISU World University Games on Friday.
After the meeting, the third between Xi and Widodo in the past 12 months, both leaders witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation agreements covering China’s agricultural produce imports, health and the development of Indonesia’s new capital.
Xi called Widodo, who is making his sixth visit to China, “my old friend” at the beginning of the talks, underscoring the fact that both nations share closely aligned visions and present opportunities to each other.
The two sides are “like-minded partners and good partners” in their paths to national modernization and rejuvenation, he said.
China is willing to maintain regular strategic communication with Indonesia, strengthen exchanges on experience of national governance, launch a 2+2 ministerial dialogue between their foreign ministers and defense ministers, and build a high level of strategic mutual trust, he said.
As the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is about to begin operating, Xi urged both sides to make every effort to ensure the “last mile” of construction to guarantee the project’s high standards and quality and to inject impetus into Indonesia’s development.
The Chinese president stressed the need for continuous bilateral cooperation on comprehensive industrial parks and to prioritize the development of initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor and the Two Countries, Twin Parks project.
Xi reaffirmed China’s support for the new capital of Indonesia and the development of the North Kalimantan Industrial Park, saying that Beijing is willing to expand bilateral cooperation in sectors such as new energy vehicles and smart cities, and jointly promote the digital transformation of industries.
He voiced China’s readiness to scale up imports of bulk commodities and high-quality agricultural produce from Indonesia, and bolster cooperation on food security, poverty alleviation, rural vitalization, vocational education, language teaching, health, culture and tourism.
He expressed China’s commitment to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN, supporting the role of Indonesia as the group’s rotating chair and enabling ASEAN to uphold strategic autonomy and unity and promote regional stability and development.
China is also willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with Indonesia in multilateral mechanisms such as the G20 and BRICS, the group of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, he said.
Widodo highlighted the progress in bilateral relations since Xi’s visit to Bali last year. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, will be inaugurated in August, he said.
Indonesia firmly adheres to the one-China principle and is willing to continue strengthening cooperation with China in sectors including investment, marine fisheries, food security and healthcare to further advance the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.
Widodo expressed support for the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by Xi, which he said are “open and inclusive”.
Indonesia is willing to maintain close strategic communication with China to jointly safeguard regional peace, stability, development and prosperity, he said.
China is the largest trading partner of Indonesia, and bilateral trade grew 19.8 percent year-on-year in 2022 to reach $149.1 billion. The nation is also the second-largest destination in ASEAN for Chinese investment.
China’s investment in Indonesia reached $8.19 billion last year.
Zhang Jie, a researcher on Southeast Asia at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said she believed that the meeting between Xi and Widodo was “full of highlights”, especially the reaching of strong consensus on the alignment of development strategies and Indonesia’s support for the Global Development Initiative, The Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.
“The launch of a 2+2 ministerial dialogue spoke volumes for a high level of mutual trust on politics and security between the two nations,” she said, adding that the enhancing of ties between Beijing and Jakarta, which holds strong influence in Southeast Asia, will help maintain steady China-ASEAN relations.