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Working in tandem

By XIAO QIAN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-03-25 08:13
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MA XUEJING/CHINA DAILY

Cooperation on anti-virus fight has injected fresh impetus into relations between China and Indonesia

China and Indonesia have enhanced their bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields and ushered in a new phase of vigorous development despite the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Through three phone calls and frequent letters and telegrams, President Xi Jinping and his Indonesian counterpart President Joko Widodo have reached broad consensus on anti-virus cooperation and economic recovery.

High-ranking official exchanges have helped realize the consensus of the heads of the two countries. Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee held a virtual meeting with the speaker of the Indonesian parliament, Puan Maharani, on Dec 10,2020. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe visited Indonesia separately.

Indonesia's Coordinator for Cooperation with China and Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, as well as State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, also paid visits to China.

Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Indonesia, and the two countries have worked in solidarity to enhance their deep friendship. At the critical moment of the anti-COVID-19 fight in China, the Indonesian government immediately provided medical supplies to China. During the tough period for the Indonesian people in their fight against the virus, China offered assistance without any delay and shared its experiences on pandemic prevention and control, medical treatment and resumption of work and production.

Chinese and Indonesian enterprises have actively promoted cooperation in clinical trials, commercial procurement, production and technology transfer of COVID-19 vaccines.

Despite its limited domestic vaccine supplies, China has exported five batches of 3 million vaccine doses and 34 million doses of bulk vaccine to Indonesia, helping the country launch a vaccination campaign nationwide.

The two sides have deepened their mutually beneficial cooperation and cultivated new driving forces for development. China remained Indonesia's top trading partner and second-largest source of foreign investment in 2020, with bilateral trade volume reaching $78.37 billion.

China's imports from Indonesia increased 10.13 percent year-on-year. And China's direct investment in Indonesia grew 72.9 percent year-on-year to reach $1.83 billion.

The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, has overcome the impacts of COVID-19 and is progressing well. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridors also reaped an early harvest.

The two countries also jointly held promotional events to boost coal procurement and a tourism investment forum, and signed cooperation documents on industrial parks and cyber security.

In addition, they established a "fast lane" for personnel exchanges and worked to stabilize and unblock industrial and supply chains.

New development momentum and highlights of cooperation have shown in the fields such as the digital economy, biopharmaceuticals, and science and technology-driven poverty alleviation. The China-Indonesia medical plant protection research and innovation base is progressing well.

Both China and Indonesia safeguard multilateralism and all countries' rights to development. They have closely communicated and coordinated on deepening international anti-pandemic cooperation and promoted global governance reform under global and regional frameworks and multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, G20 and the World Health Organization.

As large developing countries and representatives of emerging economies, China and Indonesia are companions on the path of national rejuvenation. The two sides should continue to help each other, work together in the same boat, and uphold solidarity in the fight against the pandemic, as well as development and cooperation to further promote bilateral relations.

The two countries will maintain the good momentum of high-level exchanges. The communication between Chinese and Indonesian leaders and government officials at all levels will be strengthened through visits, phone calls, letters and videoconferences. They will exchange ideas and expand consensus on the fight against the virus, economic recovery and regional peace and stability.

They will develop their ties into a model for international anti-pandemic cooperation. The Chinese side will continue to support the enterprises from both countries in localization of vaccine production, technology transfer and training cooperation, help Indonesia grow into a regional vaccine production center, and jointly work for the accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 vaccines in developing nations.

They will explore exchanges and cooperation between hospitals, vaccine research institutions and pharmaceutical industries, and strive to make joint efforts to build a global community of health for all.

China will join hands with Indonesia to revive and develop their economies. The two countries will strengthen the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Maritime Fulcrum strategy-Indonesia's grand maritime vision, push for progress on flagship projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, and promote the implementation of RCEC and construction of industrial parks between the two countries.

They will also expand their exchanges and cooperation in fishery, finance, poverty relief, earthquake prevention and disaster reduction, and develop new engines for growth, including 5G, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, with scientific and technological innovation as a driving force.

China and Indonesia will work together to strengthen global and regional peace, stability and prosperity. They will use the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as an opportunity to take China-ASEAN ties to a new height.

The two countries will jointly put into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at the earliest possible date and release the dividends of the world's largest free trade bloc.

The Chinese side is willing to work with Indonesia to jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and fully support Indonesia in hosting the G20 summit next year to jointly safeguard multilateralism, uphold fairness and justice, and resist pseudo-multilateralism and hegemonism.

The author is the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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