China and Indonesia are good neighbors, good friends and good partners. As the China-Indonesia diplomatic relationship embarks on a journey of another 70 years, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Indonesia, met with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and held talks with Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi separately. They had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of common concern, and reached extensive consensuses. The visit was a full success.
This visit featured a tight schedule, rich content and fruitful outcomes. To put it in a concise way, there were one main task, two key directions and main outcomes in three areas.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping and President Jokowi have talked on the phone three times, reaching an important consensus on jointly fighting the pandemic and cooperating on development. The main task of this visit was to implement the consensus of the two heads of state and explore a path for deepening cooperation.
The pandemic has dramatically influenced the economic and social development of China and Indonesia. Thoroughly defeating the pandemic, as well as achieving recovery and development are the two common goals of the two countries and the two key directions of discussions during this visit.
With the joint efforts of both sides, this visit achieved main outcomes in three areas. First, it enriched cooperation on fighting against the pandemic. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the two countries have helped each other overcome difficulties, assisted each other with medical supplies, shared diagnosis and treatment experiences in a timely manner and actively carried out vaccine procurement cooperation.
Two batches of a total of 3 million doses of a ready-to-use vaccine and a batch of 15 million doses of bulk vaccines from China have arrived in Indonesia. The companies of the two countries have successfully carried out phase three clinical trials of the vaccine.
On Jan. 13, Indonesia officially launched its nationwide vaccination drive, and China-Indonesia pandemic mitigation cooperation entered a new stage.
During this visit, the two countries fully affirmed the achievements of pandemic mitigation cooperation and reached a new consensus. The two countries will continue to promote vaccine research and development, procurement and production cooperation. China will support Indonesia to become a regional vaccine production center and help more developing countries and countries in the Islamic world to have accessible and affordable vaccines.
The two countries will also expand medical personnel and medical technology exchanges, as well as strengthen medical and health cooperation to jointly enhance the resilience of each other’s medical and health system.
Second, a new momentum was created for strategic synergizing. In the past year, in face of the downturn in global trade and investment, the two countries have strengthened communication and made great efforts to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Signature cooperation projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors have been making steady progress. A “fast lane” arrangement for international travel was launched. Industrial and supply chains maintained stability. The bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation has enjoyed continuous growth despite COVID-19. Bilateral trade is more balanced.
During this visit, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the construction of the Two Countries, Twin Parks, further expanding the model and extent of synergizing respective development strategies. The two countries will also foster new growth drivers in the digital economy, such as in the areas of 5G, artificial intelligence, big data and clouding computing; deepen cooperation on tourism, vocational education and technological innovation; continue to generate more exports of high-quality Indonesian products to China, as well as Chinese investment to Indonesia; and explore the establishment of a closer comprehensive economic partnership in a bid to find new models, new fields, and a new momentum to synergizing development strategies.
Third, a new consensus was reached on multilateral cooperation. China and Indonesia have maintained good communication and coordination in multilateral affairs. The two countries jointly promote multilateralism, support free trade and uphold the international system with the United Nations as its core and the world order based on international law.
During this visit, both sides pledged to work for the early enforcement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, accelerate regional economic integration and build an open world economy. The two countries have signed a cooperative document on cybersecurity, making positive efforts to promote the establishment of cybersecurity rules at regional and international levels.
Both sides also agreed to play the role of two major littoral states of the South China Sea by working with other ASEAN countries to promote the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties, push for steady progress of consultations on a Code of Conduct, jointly work out regional rules that are effective, substantive and consistent with international law, as well as jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
China will fully cooperate to support Indonesia to host the Group of 20 summit next year, jointly advance global governance and cooperation, as well as promote world peace and development.
China and Indonesia are both major developing countries and emerging economies. China-Indonesia cooperation not only serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and their people, but also benefits people in the region and the world. The two countries will continue to work together to create a better future.
The writer is Chinese ambassador to Indonesia.