China, Indonesia vow to foster a community with a shared future

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Earlier this month, Indonesia’s Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway saw the laying of ballasted tracks begin on its main line, marking a solid step of this landmark Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project and signaling the pragmatic cooperation between China and Indonesia.

With a design speed of 350 kilometers per hour, the railway built with Chinese technology will cut the journey between Jakarta and Bandung, the country’s fourth-largest city, from more than three hours to around 40 minutes.

While meeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday voiced the hope that key bilateral cooperation projects, including the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project, would advance smoothly. Meanwhile, Widodo called the high-speed railway project another milestone of bilateral friendship.

Under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China and Indonesia have set the direction of building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future and forged a new pattern of bilateral relations featuring the “four-wheel drive” of political, economic, cultural and maritime cooperation.

“China and Indonesia are at similar development stages, have entwined interests, follow similar philosophies and development paths and share a closely connected future,” Xi said, adding that building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future is the common aspiration and expectation of the two peoples.

He said sound Sino-Indonesian relations not only serve the long-term shared interests of the two countries but also have positive and far-reaching effects regionally and globally.

Widodo is the first foreign head of state to visit China after the Beijing Winter Olympics, and China is the first stop of Widodo’s first trip to East Asia since the pandemic.

 

Resilient and vibrant ties

Despite COVID-19 outbreaks and growing uncertainties, China and Indonesia see unstoppable momentum in their cooperation and are ready to further deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Xi mentioned in the meeting, the bilateral relationship has shown great resilience and vitality in recent years. China remained Indonesia’s largest trading partner in 2021. According to Chinese customs statistics, trade volume between the two sides was valued at $124.3 billion, with a growth rate of 58.4 percent year on year.

Major cooperation projects, including the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway Project, the Two Countries Twin Parks program and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors, reflect the highly synergized connectivity between the BRI and Indonesia’s national strategy. Thus, the cooperation projects will produce win-win outcomes in the economic recovery of the country and the wider region.

Vaccine cooperation has also become a new highlight of bilateral relations between the two countries as China is actively supporting Indonesia in building a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing hub. The hub will, in turn, help Southeast Asia’s vaccine rollout.

Noting that the two countries are an example of major developing countries seeking strength through unity and win-win cooperation, Xi also told Widodo that the Chinese side is willing to foster more growth points with Indonesia, such as in digital economy and green development.

Asian input in global governance

Starting from June, several high-level global or regional economic forums have been scheduled in Asian countries, including China and Indonesia, ushering in an Asian moment due to their role in global governance.

The Chinese president on Tuesday called on the two countries to stand together in solidarity, fulfill the responsibilities of major developing countries, follow true multilateralism, uphold open regionalism and contribute Oriental wisdom and Asia’s input to the development of global governance.

In June, China hosted the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit. In November, Indonesia is scheduled to host the G20 Summit, Cambodia will host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Related Summits, and Thailand will host the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

Facing a turbulent international situation, the international community is expecting Asia, the largest continental economy, accounting for roughly 40 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP), to play a leading role in promoting peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

Confronting changes in the world that are unfolding in ways like never before, China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, which have contributed to China’s approach to advancing building a more just and reasonable global governance system and won extensive support and response from the international community, especially Asian countries.

The two presidents also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. They shared the view that the international community should create conditions for peace talks, play a constructive role in de-escalating the situation in Ukraine and stabilizing the global economic order, and work together to maintain the hard-won peace and stability in the region.

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