March 14, 2023
JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo congratulated his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Saturday for securing a third term as president, adding that Jakarta remained eager to cooperate with Beijing.
The congratulatory remarks, sent via Jokowi’s official Twitter account, also included well wishes for Li Qiang, who was recently named Chinese premier.
“As strategic partners, let us continue to further strengthen our cooperation for the prosperity of both countries and continue our contribution for regional peace and stability,” wrote Jokowi to Xi.
Xi’s third term, made official on Friday, marks him as one of Beijing’s most powerful leaders in recent memory. Heading the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi will likely continue to be Beijing’s number one man for the next five years.
On Saturday, Xi appointed his close ally, 63-year-old Li, as Chinese premier, giving him the responsibility of managing Beijing’s economy. The appointment did not escape Indonesia, which has worked closely with China for the past few years on economic and investment matters.
“I look forward to working closely with you in enhancing our long-standing friendship and cooperation for the benefits of our two peoples, as well as the region and beyond,” wrote Jokowi, addressing Li.
Xi’s Friday appointment as president at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People included his reappointment to the country’s Central Military Commission. Analysts have said Xi’s continuing grip on power could mean a more assertive China on the global stage and increased contention with the country’s chief rival, the United States.
Neither US President Joe Biden nor US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had made any statements on Xi’s third term as of Monday. But Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly congratulated Xi in a statement on Friday.
“Dear friend, please accept sincere congratulations on the occasion of your reelection. […] Russia highly values your personal contribution toward the strengthening of ties and strategic cooperation between our nations,” the Kremlin statement read.