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Jakarta Post

[INSIGHT] China-Indonesia ties: Surge forward with the tide of the times

  • Xiao Qian

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 29, 2020   /   12:25 pm
[INSIGHT] China-Indonesia ties: Surge forward with the tide of the times Workers arrange equipment in front of a large tunnel built for a high-speed railway in Tunnel 8, Padalarang, West Bandung regency, West Java, on February. 21, 2019. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

This year marks the 70th anniversary of China-Indonesia diplomatic ties. Looking back at the past seven decades, our two countries have achieved tremendous growth in bilateral ties and established comprehensive strategic partnership.

Now, China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner, second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI), second-largest host of Indonesian students and a major source of foreign tourists.

Our friendly relations and deepening cooperation across all sectors are bringing benefits to our two countries and peoples, and contributing to regional and global stability and prosperity.

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 poses a formidable challenge to China and Indonesia, as well as our bilateral ties. Yet true friendship stands out in difficult times. In face of the outbreak, we have rendered each other support and pulled together to overcome the most difficult time.

We have further deepened bilateral ties despite COVID-19 and strengthened friendship in the fight against the epidemic. Indonesia was among the first countries to dispatch medical supplies to China and has received active support from China in its own fight against the disease.

As of now, enterprises from both countries are pushing ahead cooperation on vaccine research and development, production and technological transfer, which I believe will make Indonesia among the first countries to gain access to vaccine. 

Undeterred by the epidemic, two-way trade between China and Indonesia have achieved continuous growth, which is a testament to the strong complementarities in our respective development as well as the strength and potential of bilateral ties.

In the first half of 2020, China remains Indonesia’s largest trading partner and second largest investor with trade volume reaching US$35.53 billion. China’s imports from Indonesia have increased by 9 percent and investment to Indonesia grew by 172 percent.

Signature cooperation projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors are making steady progress. China and Indonesia have launched a “fast lane” arrangement and gradually resumed direct flights with necessary control measures in place — all in an effort to facilitate two-way travels and maintain stable industrial and supply chains to support each other’s economic recovery.

Both China and Indonesia are major developing countries with a large population and enjoy rapid economic growth and increasingly important roles in the region and beyond. China-Indonesia relations are mutually beneficial and win-win in nature, and mutual respect is an honored tradition in bilateral cooperation.

The development of China-Indonesia ties serves the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples. We welcome both countries to respectively engage in friendly exchanges and cooperation with other countries. Nonetheless, we shall guard against any attempt to interfere or undermine the friendship between China and Indonesia.

We are ready to work with the Indonesian side to act upon the fundamental and long-term interest of our two countries and peoples, resist external interference and stay steadily on the right course to continue develop ties and win-win cooperation.

The past 70 years have been a journey of both challenges and productive cooperation. As the world today is confronted with profound changes of a kind unseen in a century, China-Indonesia relations have come to a new starting point endowed with new opportunities.

Let us continue to stand in solidarity against COVID-19 and work together to recover our economy, so as to bring more benefits to our two countries and peoples and make greater contributions to the peace, stability and prosperity in our region and beyond. 

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Chinese ambassador to Indonesia