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Strengthen Good-Neighborly Relations and Deepen Mutually Beneficial Cooperation
Speech by Premier Wen Jiabao at Balai Kartini
Jakarta, April 30, 2011
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa
Your Excellencies Diplomatic Envoys,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I attach great importance to this speech. I began to prepare it almost a year ago. I want to let you know the domestic and foreign policies of China, the most populous country in the world, particularly its policies toward ASEAN. We in China know full well that only innovation can ensure the continuous progress of a nation, only openness and inclusiveness can bring prosperity to a nation, and only commitment to the path of peaceful development can enable us to achieve the goal of building a strong, democratic, harmonious and culturally advanced modern country. I am being truthful in introducing some basic views concerning China's domestic and foreign policies. Every sentence of mine is truthful, because only truthfulness can move people. I believe I can give a good speech, which will not let you down.
It gives me great pleasure to visit Indonesia, the beautiful country of thousand islands. I want to thank the Indonesian Council on World Affairs for its kindness in arranging this event. Let me first of all extend, on behalf of the Chinese people, warm greetings to the people of Indonesia, and sincere thanks to friends from all sectors who have long been committed to the friendship between our two countries.
Indonesia is a big developing country full of vigor and promise. Over the past few years, under the leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian people have engaged in a tremendous endeavor to develop their country. They emerged from the natural disasters stronger and tackled the international financial crisis with effective measures. I see in Indonesia a prospering country enjoying faster economic growth, sustained social stability, and greater harmony among ethnic groups. As an important member of ASEAN and the G20, Indonesia is playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs. I wish to take this opportunity to extend warm congratulations on your remarkable achievements.
Both China and Indonesia boast a long and splendid culture. The Borobudur in Yogyakarta and the Great Wall in China are both miracles of ancient Oriental civilizations. Eminent Buddhist monks in ancient China such as Faxian, Huining and Yijing lived and studied in Java and Sumatra. Six hundred years ago, the great Chinese Muslim navigator Zheng He helped build several mosques in places like Jakarta. Today, people in Semarang are still telling stories of how Zheng He, who visited the place during his voyages to the Western Seas, made friends with the local people. In modern times, people of our two nations sympathized with and supported each other during the hard struggles for national independence and forged a strong bond of friendship. As one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, Indonesia helped New China break the trade embargo imposed by the West. The Chinese people will never forget those episodes.
Entering the new century, our two countries have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges, deepening political mutual trust and fast growing business cooperation. The establishment of the strategic partnership in 2005 brought our bilateral relations to a new stage. Last year, two-way trade approached 43 billion U.S. dollars, making China one of Indonesia's major trading partners and export markets. In the face of the severe international financial crisis, our two countries worked together to tide over difficulties. We signed a bilateral currency swap agreement worth 100 billion RMB yuan and played a positive role in maintaining regional financial stability. Our two sides have maintained close communication and coordination in international affairs, which has enhanced the influence of developing countries. It is worth mentioning in particular that when major natural disasters truck, peoples of our two countries shared each other's pain and stood together to counter difficulty. For instance, in the wake of the earthquake in Wenchuan, China in 2008, Indonesia sent a medical team to the affected area. An 80-year-old village chief in Aceh traveled more than 2,000 km to deliver donations from his village to the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta. Likewise, when Indonesia was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in 2004, the Chinese international rescue team hastened to the disaster area. This fully shows that China and Indonesia are good neighbors and good brothers.