INDONESIA, CHINA FORGE COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN VARIOUS FIELDS By Fardah
Jakarta, Oct 7, 2013 (Antara) - The recent visit of Chinese President Xi
Jinping to Jakarta was a historic one as it has lifted the two
countries' bilateral relations to the level of a comprehensive strategic
partnership in various fields.
Indonesia and China have agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of
industry, infrastructure development in the transportation sector,
financial services, tourism, education, and the creative industry. China
also plans to open a consulate general in Bali to strengthen bilateral
On the first day of Xi's visit, at least six cooperation agreements
were signed, which among other things included tie-ups related to the
Sino-Indonesian integrated industrial estate, economic and trade
cooperation, cooperation over maritime and fisheries, tourism,
meteorology and climatology, as well as space exploration for commercial
and peaceful purposes.
"We have once again made history by agreeing to forge a comprehensive
strategic partnership. I believe that under the leadership of President
Xi Jinping we will be able to improve our bilateral cooperation in the
future," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated.
Yudhoyono pointed out that Indonesia-China ties had been developing
rapidly since the two countries initiated a strategic partnership in
With China's national strength and international status on the rise, it
was of vital importance to the region and the world at large that China
maintained its stability and development, added the Indonesian leader.
Indonesia, he said, attached great importance to its ties with China
and hoped to seize the opportunity of establishing a bilateral
comprehensive strategic partnership to further boost cooperation between
the two countries.
Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping acknowledged that both countries had a
long-running and close relationship and were determined to improve this
relationship even further.
The Chinese president pointed out that China regarded Indonesia as a
priority in its diplomatic relations with neighboring countries, and was
ready to comprehensively deepen bilateral cooperation, so as to realize
collective development for the benefit of both countries.
Both China and Indonesia are major developing countries and important
emerging market economies with regional and global influence, Xi noted.
Stating that profound and complicated changes were taking place on the
global and regional landscapes, Xi pointed out that it was an inevitable
choice for the two countries to further strengthen their strategic
During his exchanges with Yudhoyono, Xi also proposed to establish an
Asian infrastructure investment bank to promote interconnectivity and
economic integration in the region.
The Chinese leader was on a two-day state visit to Jakarta to boost
bilateral economic and investment cooperation between the two nations.
He was accompanied by, among others Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister
of National Development and the Reform Commission Xu Shaoshi, and Trade
Minister Gao Hucheng.
It was his first visit to a Southeast Asian country after assuming
presidency in March this year. He also delivered a speech before
Indonesia's House of Representatives, making him the first foreign
leader to address the country's Parliament.
During a business luncheon attended by President Yudhoyono and
President Xi Jinping the next day, 21 business agreements were signed.
The total value of the business agreements was pegged at US$28.2
billion, which includes investments in the fields of minerals, pulp,
property, railway, infrastructure and cement, Indonesian Industry
Minister M.S. Hidayat pointed out. The agreements are expected to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between the two nations, the minister said.
President Yudhoyono said the signing of the 21 agreements had paved the
way for closer relations between Indonesia and China.
"We should welcome the new business agreements because they will boost
our economy. I hope these business agreements will be realized soon,"
the head of state said. Around 200 Chinese delegates and 600 Indonesian delegates attended the luncheon meeting. China has become Indonesia¿s second biggest trade partner. Indonesia's
exports to China during the January to June, 2013 period touched
US$10.09 billion or 13.5 percent of the country's total exports. Its
imports from China reached US$14.42 billion. Two-way trade between the two nations was recorded at more than US$50 billion in 2012.
Yudhoyono said the two countries were committed to stepping up
bilateral trade so that it exceeds US$51 billion in revenue.
The Indonesian central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI) and its counterpart,
the Chinese Central Bank, also agreed to extend their Bilateral Swap
Agreement (BSA), which they had signed in 2009 in a bid to reinforce
their countries' financial systems. "The document for the extension of the agreement has been signed," BI Deputy Governor Perry Wirjiyo said recently.
He added that the extension of the BSA was a follow-up step taken by
the BI to guarantee available foreign exchange reserves for partner
countries, particularly when reserves are needed quickly.
The Indonesian Ambassador to China and Mongolia Imron Cotan stated
recently that although much progress has been made since Indonesia and
China signed a strategic partnership agreement in April 2005, a
considerable potential for cooperation had remained untapped and
existing relations could still be enhanced further.
"Relations between Indonesia and China are inseparable from new
challenges due to regional and international developments," Cotan said.
"Therefore, the two countries should make an effort to forge existing
cooperation, while at the same time seek opportunities to cooperate in
other fields according to the challenges," the Indonesian ambassador
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Liu Jianchao said he was
of the view that China and Indonesia should increase trade and
investment as their bilateral trade only ranked fourth among trade
between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
In an interview with Xinhua recently, Liu had suggested that the two
countries enhance strategic planning, deepen pragmatic cooperation, such
as building economic and trade cooperation zones and enhance exchanges
between young students and media outlets. ***1*** (f001/INE/B003)