FM Qin Gang’s visit to Indonesia expected to facilitate building of community of shared future
Necessity of closer China-ASEAN interactions highlighted amid growing noises from US: analyst
Published: Feb 21, 2023 09:43 PM
Foreign Minister Qin Gang participates in the opening of the 14th Love Knows No Borders international charity sale via video link in Beijing on Jan 17, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of

Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Photo: Courtesy of

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang is scheduled to visit Indonesia from Tuesday in anticipation of further facilitating the building of a China-Indonesia community of a shared future and to maintain closer interactions with ASEAN amid growing noises from the US that have posed threats to regional stability and development, analysts said. 

During the three-day visit, Qin will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. He will also chair the 4th meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) between China and Indonesia and visit the ASEAN Secretariat, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a press conference on Monday. 

This is Qin's first outbound visit after the Chinese New Year and his first visit to a neighboring country after he took the post in December 2022, highlighting the great importance China attaches to relations with Indonesia and ASEAN and underscoring regional countries' joint efforts in seeking development and maintaining stability amid the growing risks of great power geopolitics and interference, analysts said.

Qin's visit to Indonesia is of strategic significance and will further spur the two countries to implement the consensus reached by the top leaders in building a community of a shared future and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as to deepen practical cooperation in all fields, Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times. 

Indonesia is the place where Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road for the first time in October 2013. Further facilitating cooperation especially with those under the Belt and Road Initiative would be significant for China and Indonesia, Xu said. 

Xu noted that more efforts will be made to advance major projects, including the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor and the "Two Countries, Twin Parks" and the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway. 

Qin's visit to Indonesia will beef up coordination and cooperation with ASEAN as Indonesia holds the rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year and Indonesia has long played an important role in promoting regional development, Ge Hongliang, director of the China-ASEAN Maritime Security Research Center at Guangxi University for Nationalities, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Issues on the South China Sea might be discussed as China and ASEAN countries are working on the negotiations for the adoption of a Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea, as the current situation has become more complicated with interference from outside, especially from the US, Ge said.  

Indonesia plans to intensify talks with China and other ASEAN countries to finalize the COC for the South China Sea, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told media at the close of a meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers.

Since China and ASEAN countries launched the COC consultation, much progress has been achieved. While China and regional countries are working to put differences aside, the US has ramped up meddling with related issues, observers said. 

For example, in recent weeks, despite China's reiteration on its communication with the Philippines via maritime-related channels, the US kept hyping issues around China's use of a laser against boat of the Philippines and boasting of its support for the Philippines.

The increasing disturbance from the US may impede regional countries' efforts in building the South China Sea as a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. Moreover, the US' inciting confrontation and pulling countries into small cliques in the Indo-Pacific region has increased tension in the regional environment and cast a shadow on regional development, said Ge. 

Ge said that such a backdrop highlights the necessity for closer exchanges between China and ASEAN members on managing disputes related to the South China Sea. 

Analysts said that as the international community pays close attention to China-US relations, which have been further strained after the US shot down a Chinese civilian airship, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin will also discuss strategic competition of major countries and other global issues of shared concern with ASEAN countries. 

As the US is addicted to playing geopolitical games, it has also increased pressure on ASEAN countries in taking sides between China and the US. However, instead of being the US' cannon folder, ASEAN countries are wise enough to know that they should focus on their own development, said analysts.