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Indonesian ministers hope for closer ties with China

Updated: 2013-10-01 19:34
( Xinhua)

JAKARTA - Cooperation between Indonesia and China covers broad areas and Jakarta hopes to lift the relationship to a higher level, senior government officials here say.

Indonesia and China had a strategic partnership, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told Xinhua on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to his country.

The two countries had closely cooperated in various forums, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the East Asia Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Group of 20 (G20), he said.

"So, actually the cooperation between the two countries has been so complete and integrated. The strategic partnership has become so important and will be more important," Marty said.

Xi arrives for a state visit Wednesday and he will attend APEC's 21st informal economic leaders' meeting on the resort island of Bali.

Marty said the development of Indonesia-China relations would have an influence not only on the two countries, but also on the region at large.

"Indonesia regards China as a very important partner during these times. We want to develop it to higher grade," he said. "This is an important relationship and will be more important and more strategic."

Asked whether Indonesia would change its policy toward China after next year's general election, the foreign minister said the two countries had enjoyed an all-weather relationship, which would not be affected by any political change in Indonesia.

"Indonesia's position on the one-China policy will remain consistent ... I think China has its own national interest and so does Indonesia, sort of very synergic to each other," he said.

In a separate interview, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia and China had cooperated in the defense field since they established the strategic partnership in 2005.

Purnomo said the two countries had increased exchanges of high-level military visits and strengthened cooperation in such areas as defense consultations, personnel training, defense industry, military exercises and maritime security.

With their "strong" defense cooperation, Indonesia and China would make a great contribution to regional peace, security and prosperity, he said.