Trade cooperation to top agenda during Indonesian president's China visit
Published: Jul 21, 2022 10:46 PM
China Indonesia Photo:VCG

China Indonesia Photo:VCG

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit China from July 25 to 26 and will have talks with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday. 

China and Indonesia attach high importance to the bilateral ties, as President Joko Widodo is the first foreign head of state to visit China after the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, and China will be the first stop on his first trip to East Asia since the onset of COVID-19, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a routine press conference on Thursday.

Widodo's upcoming visit is of great significance, as there have been no visits between the two countries' leaders for almost three years due to the COVID-19 epidemic, said Tang Qifang, an associate research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.

Tang told the Global Times on Thursday that Joko's visit will not only boost trade and economic cooperation at the China-Indonesia bilateral level and at the China-ASEAN regional level, but also promote peace and stability at the global level given the current challenges the world faces.

Commenting on China's expectations of Widodo's visit, Wang noted that China looks forward to further deepening strategic mutual trust and practical cooperation with Indonesia during Widodo's visit. 

"China and Indonesia share extensive common interests and broad cooperation space, and we can set a good example of the mutual benefits and common development between developing countries," said Wang.

"Economic and trade cooperation will be the most important topic during the two countries' talks. It is also the topic where both sides are most likely to make practical achievements because such cooperation is urgently needed to promote bilateral and regional economic recovery," Tang pointed out. 

Tang said that despite the momentum of China-Indonesia cooperation being quite strong, as the bilateral trade volume has increased amid the impact of COVID-19, Indonesia is still under pressure from the rising prices of international staple commodities and domestic inflation, and thus wants to improve its cooperation with China to maintain that positive trend and create more growth points.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the China-Indonesia trade volume increased by 30.8 percent to $32.75 billion from January to March in 2022 compared with the same period last year.

Also, spokesperson Wang said that President Joko will have a face-to-face conversation with the Chinese leaders over the G20 Summit to be held from November 15 to 16 in Bali, Indonesia, to respond to pressing global challenges, demonstrate solidarity and coordination among major developing countries to inject more positive energy to the post-COVID global economy.

China firmly supports Indonesia, which holds the rotating G20 presidency in 2022, to play a constructive role in promoting global equality and justice, Wang said.

Tang noted that playing a constructive role in the G20 presidency means coordinating other countries to preserve peace and stability amid the complicated international landscape, including the Ukraine crisis and tensions between China and the US.

"Widodo's visit to China shows the firm attitude of Southeast Asian countries represented by Indonesia in refusing to be roped in by the US to contain China, and instead holding a neutral and balanced position between China and the US," Tang said.