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China and Indonesia to Further Deepen Cooperation and Achieve Mutual Benefit Win-Win Results and Common Development-Yang Jiechi Answers Questions from Journalist
2016/05/10

On May 9, 2016 local time, after attending the 2nd meeting of China-Indonesia High-Level Economic Dialogue in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, State Councilor Yang Jiechi gave an interview to Xinhua News Agency and answered the journalist's questions concerning China-Indonesia relations, China's economic and trade cooperation with Indonesia and the ASEAN and other respects. The transcript reads as follows:

Q: You have just hosted the 5th meeting of China-Indonesia dialogue mechanism at deputy prime minister level in Beijing and chaired the 2nd meeting of China-Indonesia High-Level Economic Dialogue in Indonesia. What do you think of the current development of China-Indonesia relations?

A: As friendly maritime neighbors as well as comprehensive strategic partners, China and Indonesia highly value the bilateral relations. High-level exchanges between both countries are frequent, and President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo have held multiple meetings and telephone talks, reaching numerous important consensus on strengthening the docking of development strategies of both countries and deepening practical cooperation in all fields. Cooperation mechanisms between China and Indonesia are increasingly improving, with the establishment of bilateral cooperation mechanisms at deputy prime minister level in political security, economic cooperation as well as social and cultural fields, which constitutes the troika for coordinating bilateral cooperation. The undergoing Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway jointly constructed by both countries has become a major early-harvest project of development strategy alignment between both sides and a demonstration project of China-Indonesia friendly cooperation. As the largest trading partner of Indonesia, China also grew into its third largest source of travelers last year and the fourth largest source of investment in the first quarter of this year. Bilateral cooperation covers a wide range of scope "from the sky to the seas", such as defense, maritime affairs, aerospace, science and technology and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and the two sides maintain sound communication and coordination on regional and international issues.

Both China and Indonesia are major developing countries in Asia and G20 member states. Strengthening strategic cooperation is in conformity with the common interests of both sides and conducive to respective development. It will also make important contributions to regional peace, development and prosperity. China always regards Indonesia as an important country in its neighboring diplomacy and stands ready to join hands with Indonesia to deepen practical cooperation in an all-round manner and continuously enrich the connotations of China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership.

During my visit to Indonesia this time, I met with President Joko Widodo, conveyed President Xi Jinping's message to him, and co-chaired the 2nd meeting of China-Indonesia High-Level Economic Dialogue with Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution of Indonesia. A few days ago, I co-chaired in Beijing the 5th meeting of China-Indonesia dialogue mechanism at deputy prime minister level with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan of Indonesia. I hope that the two wheels of politics and economy of China-Indonesia relations can synchronize in a better way and promote each other for more substantial progress in China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, so as to benefit both peoples and the region.

Q:In your opinion, what's the major achievements of this meeting?

A: China-Indonesia High-level Economic Dialogue serves as a major intergovernmental cooperation mechanism and an important platform for promoting bilateral practical cooperation. This meeting was co-chaired by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution of Indonesia and me. Competent departments for economic affairs of Indonesia, including Ministry of Coordinating Economic Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of State Owned Enterprises, Ministry of National Development Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Investment Coordinating Board, together with Chinese representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce, People's Bank of China, National Energy Administration, China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China and other organizations attended this meeting.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of major bilateral economic cooperation projects since the 1st meeting of the dialogue held last January. Both sides exchanged in-depth views at the meeting on boosting bilateral practical cooperation in the next phase in fields including trade, investment, agriculture and fishery, infrastructure construction, energy and finance, reaching broad consensus. Both sides agreed that the initiative of jointly building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by China and Indonesia's strategy of Global Maritime Axis fit with each other and share broad common interests, which will create rare opportunities for deepening bilateral economic cooperation. In recent years, China and Indonesia have yielded fruitful results in economic and trade cooperation, with stable development in bilateral trade and investment and breakthroughs in major projects like the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. As one of its founding members, Indonesia has been actively participating in related work of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises have been advancing cooperation with the Indonesian side in the development of comprehensive industrial parks and special economic zones, and in fields including infrastructure, electric power, energy and agriculture. China-Indonesia High-level Economic Dialogue mechanism has played a strategic leading role in promoting bilateral comprehensive economic cooperation in a coordinated manner, and consolidated the economic foundation of comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Indonesia.

After the meeting, both sides signed economic cooperation documents including the minutes of the meeting and economic and technical cooperation agreements between the two countries.

Q: How should the two countries better dovetail China's initiative of jointly building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road with Indonesia's strategy of Global Maritime Axis for greater development of economic cooperation?

A: President Xi Jinping firstly put forward the initiative of jointly building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road when he visited Indonesia in 2013. Upholding principles of opening up and cooperation, harmony and inclusiveness, market-oriented operation, mutual benefit and win-win results, the initiative takes practical cooperation in policy communication, utility connectivity, capital financing and connection of peoples' hearts as its main content. The Southeast Asian region is an important passage of the ancient maritime silk road of China, and Indonesia has always been an important hub of the maritime Silk Road. The Global Maritime Axis strategy proposed by President Joko Widodo shares extensive strategic converging points with China's initiative, providing a broad space for promoting China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership. Both sides have been and will continue carrying out sufficient exchanges on and alignment of economic development strategies and policies, so as to further expand and deepen economic cooperation between the two countries.

As two major developing countries in Asia, both China and Indonesia are confronted with the common mission of coping with the downward pressure from global economy and promoting healthy and stable economic development. Both sides will continue conducting practical cooperation in all fields under the framework of dovetailing above initiatives and development strategies. To be more specific, both sides will expand market access and elevate the level of trade facilitation so as to promote the sustained and healthy development of bilateral trade; create a favorable investment environment and push the investment cooperation up to a new height; carry out production capacity cooperation and improve the industrialization level of Indonesia; launch cooperation in electricity and other sectors with various forms such as investment and the integration of construction and operation, and provide economic development with effective guarantee; conduct cooperation in marine resources census and development planning, aquaculture and fishery processing as well as other areas; continue launching diverse forms of infrastructure construction cooperation and offer multi-channel financing support to it; expand the scale of settlement in local currency and stabilize regional financial order and other aspects. In a word, the two sides will realize the goals of economic development and livelihood improvement through elevating cooperation level and expanding cooperation scope, so as to achieve mutual benefit, win-win results and common development and endow the ancient Silk Road with new connotations of the time.

Q: Indonesia is an important member state of the ASEAN. What are China's comments on China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation? What does the prospect of the bilateral cooperation look like?

A: The current China-ASEAN economic and trade relationship undergoes sustained and stable development. In 2015, against the background of unstable global economic recovery and continuous decline in commodity prices, bilateral trade stood almost at the same level as the previous year and two-way investment increased steadily with a 60.8 percent growth of China's direct investment in the ASEAN, which fully demonstrates the great appeal of the ASEAN and Chinese enterprises' strong confidence in the ASEAN. In the future, China stands ready to, by taking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations this year as an opportunity and regarding the establishment of the ASEAN Community and the upgrade of China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone as a new starting point, advance the effective alignment between the Belt and Road initiative and the construction of the ASEAN Community and continue to steadily expand the scale of bilateral trade. China will strengthen cooperation with the ASEAN in infrastructure and connectivity and enhance investment cooperation with the ASEAN. Out of the practical need of the ASEAN and combining them with China's advantages, China will encourage Chinese enterprises, personnel, technology and equipment to "go global" and improve production capacity cooperation in the construction of industrial parks as well as equipment manufacturing with the ASEAN. Meanwhile, taking the comprehensive deepening of reform as a chance, China will improve the overall domestic investment environment to attract more ASEAN enterprises to invest in China so as to push China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation to another new height. In addition, China will also continue to support the leading role of the ASEAN in regional economic integration and push for an early agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

China sees the ASEAN as a top priority in its neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. Indonesia is the country with the largest geographical area, population, and economic aggregate among ASEAN countries. China is willing to continue strengthening practical cooperation with ASEAN countries including Indonesia, jointly discuss development strategies, jointly build cooperation platforms, and share together development achievements, so as to effectively implement the initiative of jointly building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in economic and trade fields.

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