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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Holds Talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi

2020-08-20

On 20 August, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Baoting, Hainan Province. Minister of State-owned Enterprises of Indonesia Erick Tohir was also present.

Wang pointed out that the world is facing new challenges, from once-in-a-century changes and the global pandemic to rising unilateralism and power politics. Yet the China-Indonesia relationship, one of the most strategically important partnerships in the region, has stood the test of COVID-19 and demonstrated strong resilience.

Wang noted that under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo, the two countries have supported each other in epidemic control, complemented each other in growth recovery and coordinated with each other on multilateral platforms, deepening strategic mutual trust and common interests along the way. Both being major developing countries and emerging economies, China and Indonesia need to have a global perspective and shoulder due responsibilities to promote international solidarity and cooperation, maintain global and regional peace and stability, safeguard common interests of developing countries, and uphold the UN-centered international system.

As this year marks the 70th anniversary of China-Indonesia diplomatic relations, China is ready to jointly work for great advances in bilateral ties in this important year, by keeping in mind both near-term and long-term interests and expanding the cooperation list and consensus.

A top priority now is cooperation in vaccine R&D and epidemic control. China has unequivocally pledged that its COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment, when available, will be made a global public good, and developing countries will benefit on a priority basis. This will increase vaccine accessibility in the world. Indonesia is one of China’s closest regional partners in vaccine cooperation. The two countries started phase-3 trial in Indonesia last week. China supports its businesses in all-round cooperation with Indonesian partners in vaccine R&D and deployment, and work together for a community of health for all.

Since the two countries have agreed on a “fast track” arrangement, the program should be fully harnessed to facilitate personnel travel with necessary control measures in place, and to maintain stable industrial and supply chains to support each other’s economic recovery. It is also important to identify synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Maritime Fulcrum, advance signature projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors, strengthen cooperation in 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and other innovation areas, to jointly achieve sustainable and high-quality development.

All forms of celebrations for the 70th anniversary must be made a success, so as to build solid public support for bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

Wang pointed out that as each other’s largest trading partner, China and ASEAN have achieved growth in two-way trade and investment despite COVID-19. This is a testament to the tremendous strength and potential of cooperation between the two sides. China stands ready to work with ASEAN countries for the two priority tasks facing East Asia, i.e. COVID-19 response and growth. It is important to ensure RCEP’s conclusion within the year, which will serve as a competitive edge for development in the post-COVID-19 era, and guard against attempts from outside the region to undermine the momentum and progress of East Asian cooperation.

Wang noted that mankind lives a community with a shared future; solidarity, cooperation and multilateralism are needed in both epidemic response and economic recovery. China is ready to work with Indonesia to resolutely safeguard and practice multilateralism, uphold the basic norms of international relations, and advance multi-polarity and greater democracy in international relations.

Wang stressed that COC consultations have been conducted on an equal footing and reflect the consensus of China and the 10 ASEAN countries. Its outcomes will naturally serve the interests of regional countries and comply with international law. Attempts from outside the region to play up the issue and create tensions pose a direct threat to regional stability. China stands ready to work with Indonesia and other ASEAN countries to conclude the COC at an early date and jointly uphold stability and security in the South China Sea.

Retno passed onto Wang a letter from President Joko Widodo to President Xi Jinping, and echoed Indonesia’s commitment to sound bilateral exchanges. Indonesia hopes that COVID-19 vaccines will benefit developing countries in an equitable, accessible and economical manner, and China’s support and contribution are vital to achieving this goal. The Indonesian government will actively support relevant companies in advancing vaccine cooperation with their Chinese partners.

She believes the establishment of the “fast track” is important to deepening bilateral cooperation. She hoped that the China-Indonesia Joint Committee on Economy and Trade will meet soon to discuss partnerships on infrastructure projects such as high-speed railways and ports and stronger cooperation in the food sector. Indonesia stands ready to work with China to explore 5G cooperation to accelerate digital economy.

Indonesia will firmly safeguard the positive momentum of East Asian cooperation, and will work with relevant countries to ensure the signing of RCEP within this year.

Retno stressed that China has always been an important partner for ASEAN countries, and Indonesia is committed to working with China to deepen mutual trust on the basis of mutual respect, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The two sides exchanged views on other international and regional issues of shared interest.

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