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Jakarta Post

China-Indonesia ties: More than just money

  • Natalia Soebagjo

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 28 2011   /  08:00 am

A year ago I drafted an article about Sino-Indonesian relations for The Jakarta Post in the run-up to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit. The article never went to print. Wen cancelled his visit in the wake of the Qinghai earthquake.

At the time US President Barack Obama was also planning a visit to Indonesia. A commentary on the Sino-US rivalry in the region and where Indonesia stood on the issue seemed apt.

Now, a year on, Obama has come and gone. His visit, albeit extremely brief, won the hearts of many who heard him speak and efforts are under way to implement the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, first proposed in late 2008, to strengthen cooperation on political and security issues; economics and development, and socio-cultural cooperation.

For both the US and China, Indonesia has its attractions, both strategic and economic. In the words of Foreign Min...