China’s trade with countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative has grown significantly over the years, especially with the 10 ASEAN member countries. [Photo/VCG]
JAKARTA — China will work with Indonesia to further enhance the complementarity between their development strategies, and work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to develop a joint vision, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday.
Li made the remarks in a signed article entitled “Embarking on new voyage of China-Indonesia friendly cooperation,” published in the Jakarta Post, a leading English-language newspaper in Indonesia.
On his visit to Indonesia in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the initiative of building a 21st century maritime silk road. Since then, a strong synergy has developed between this initiative and Indonesia’s vision as a global maritime fulcrum, reenergizing centuries-old sea lanes and the shared dream of harnessing the ocean to the benefit of the two peoples, said Li.
China has been Indonesia’s largest trading partner for seven years in a row, as well as Indonesia’s main source of foreign investment. In 2017, their two-way trade reached $63.3 billion, up 18 percent year-on-year.
The Chinese premier said China will support Indonesia in building regional economic corridors and upgrading its infrastructure and industrial development to make the maritime bond between the two countries even stronger.
China looks forward to stronger exchanges covering education, culture, youth, media and think tanks to bring the two peoples even closer, said Li.
Placing ASEAN as a high priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, China has been a staunch supporter of ASEAN community building and ASEAN centrality in east Asia cooperation, said Li.
China will work with ASEAN to develop a joint vision for China-ASEAN relations, forge greater synergy between their development strategies and take their strategic partnership to a higher level, said Li.
China is keen to work with ASEAN to uphold the multilateral trading system, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, push for early conclusion of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and move toward the goal of an east Asia economic community, said the Chinese premier.