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Indonesia calls China key partner

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-28 08:37

Jakarta seeks to boost political, security cooperation, official tells Premier

"Indonesia views China as its most important cooperation partner," a senior Indonesian official told Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Luhut Panjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for political, law and security affairs, told the premier that Jakarta wants to expand its political and security ties with Beijing.

Luhut also proposed increasing fishery cooperation and welcomed Chinese investment, when he met with Li in Beijing at Zhongnanhai, headquarters of the central government.

Li spoke of the broad benefits of close relations between the two countries.

"The sound and stable development of the bilateral ties not only greatly benefits the two peoples and China's relations with ASEAN, but also sends a signal of peace and stability to the region," Li said.

Luhut was visiting China to attend a meeting with State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

Earlier this month, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China regards Indonesia as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy.

Luhut's visit comes at a time in which Beijing seeks to broaden the mutual understanding and communication with ASEAN countries.

A ruling by an international arbitration body in a process unilaterally launched by the Philippines challenging China's territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea is expected to come within weeks.

China has repeatedly said it will neither accept nor participate in the process.

Jia Duqiang, a Southeast Asian studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Indonesia, ASEAN's largest member country, shares with Beijing the goal of maintaining stability in the South China Sea and across the region.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday, at the end of a Southeast Asian tour, that China has reached consensus with Brunei, Cambodia and Laos that the territorial disputes in the South China Sea are not an issue between China and ASEAN and should not affect their relations.

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