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Jakarta Post

Synergy between ASEAN, China badly needed: Jokowi

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 5, 2019   /  03:55 pm
Synergy between ASEAN, China badly needed: Jokowi President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during the 14th East Asia Summit in Bangkok on Monday, on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit. (Presidential Press Bureau/Rusman)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has insisted that ASEAN’s development road map should dovetail with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as Jakarta doubles down on inclusive partnerships by hosting the seminal Indo-Pacific Infrastructure and Connectivity Forum next year. Jokowi argued for the necessity of inviting China to the negotiating table as Southeast Asian leaders gathered in Thailand for the ASEAN Summit and related meetings, raising issues like Indo-Pacific infrastructure development in the absence of a high-level United States delegation. He said synergy between the BRI and ASEAN’s own Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 should be encouraged given that the organization was looking for concrete cooperation initiatives in a region where the rivaling superpowers continued to vie for influence. "The development of connectivity...