Speech by H.E. Mr. Imron Cotan Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia On the Occasion of the Diplomatic Reception to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations Between Indonesia and China Beijing, 21 July 2010

7/21/2010

 

His Excellency, Assistant Minister Hu Zhengyue,

His Excellency, Mr. Chen Haosu, President of CPAFFC,

Excellencies, Ambassadors of ASEAN countries, PNG, and Timor Leste

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

 

I feel privileged to welcome you to this reception that is organized to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China. Better still, this year is also proclaimed by our leaders as the ‘Indonesia – China Friendship Year’.  

 

And I am also delighted to advise you that this special occasion is jointly held by the Indonesian Embassy and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). This demonstrates the closeness of our relations, at the grass-root level in particular. It is only candid therefore for me to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the CPAFFC for its tremendous efforts in helping co-organize this august event.

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Ever since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and China in 1950, I am proud to witness that relations between the two countries have been increasingly mushrooming. Countless agreements meant to further cement our bilateral ties have been agreed upon and implemented by the two friendly countries, notably the 2005 Strategic Partnership which was signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Hu Jintao. As Indonesia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, I am more than determined to carry forward our bilateral relations to a brighter future based on that strategic partnership.

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

The ties between China and Indonesia dated back to as early as the 15th Century. Some pundits even mentioned that the two countries had actually started their relations since the 5th Century.

 

But one thing is sure; the history vividly recorded the voyage by Admiral Zheng He to Indonesia which had left a strong imprint in Indonesia by constructing a famous temple in Semarang, the province of Mid-Java. Up to nowadays, the temple continues to serve followers of different religions and faiths. Moreover, of the nine saints who preached Islam throughout the Java Island, eight are believed to be of Chinese ancestral background.

 

It is therefore not surprising to learn the fact that Indonesia was among the first to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China once it came into being. Indonesia and China have ever since been cooperating to help establish the regional and global order, in particular in combating colonialism – one of the noble causes emanating from the Asian – African Conference, organized in Bandung in 1955.

It is to be admitted though that for historical reasons the bilateral ties were once briefly frozen. But immediately after the two countries decided to resume their diplomatic relations on 1990 the relationship has only grown from strength to strength.

In April 2005, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Chinese President Hu Jintao jointly signed a Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership to be used as a platform to elevate our bilateral ties to a higher plan. The establishment of the strategic partnership between China and Indonesia is indeed a watershed in the history of our bilateral relations. It signals our determination to work hand-in-hand in various fields by putting the interests of our people at the forefront as to enable them to enjoy stability and prosperity, especially in this tumultuous era which is marked by lingering economic and financial crises.

Early this year Indonesia and China agreed to sign and carry out a Plan of Action (PoA) to implement the partnership, covering the establishment of a bilateral dialogue mechanism on technical cooperation, cooperation in international and regional affairs, and on funding arrangement. A review mechanism is also instituted to evaluate the implementation of the PoA.

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

The Strategic Partnership Declaration has proven to be effective in boosting our bilateral ties.

 

Our trade volume has steadily increased. In 2009, our two-way trade volume has reached approximately US$ 30 billion. We are currently aiming at doubling it by 2014.

 

The implementation of ASEAN – China Free Trade (ACFTA) early this year is also expected to further boost our trade volume.

 

The investment cooperation has also given promising trends. With more than two-digit economic growth and over US$ 2 trillion national reserve coupled with its ‘go-global’ policy, we hope that China would increase its investment in Indonesia. I am glad to advise you that the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing has recently arranged a series of business meetings between Chinese potential investors and their counterparts from Indonesia. They are all upbeat that these joint endeavors will encourage China to increase its investment in Indonesia, especially in infrastructure projects.

There is no room for pessimism, for Indonesia’s macroeconomic indicators are all encouraging. The growth is expected to reach approximately 6% by the end of this year while our sovereign credit rating has been improved by the Fitch Rating Agency to one notch below investment grade.

At the same time, our people-to-people relations – one of the most important lynchpins in our bilateral ties – are developing rapidly. There are more and more students from Indonesia studying at Chinese world-acclaimed higher learning institutions. Within days, Indonesia’s Minister of Education will come and visit China to further increase the presence of our students in this country. Likewise, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia is also constantly increasing. We hope that more than 600.000 tourists from China will be visiting Indonesia this year.

Indeed, exchange visits by students, scholars, community leaders, and tourists will undoubtedly play a significant role in bringing our relations much closer and vibrant.

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

To sum up, the 60th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations should serve as a catalyst for Indonesia and China to widen and deepen their cordial relationship.

 

As Indonesian Ambassador to this beautiful country, I pledge to do my utmost to elevate our bilateral ties to new heights.

I thank you.