Today, on 13 April 2010, we officially celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and China. Albeit briefly frozen, since the resumption of diplomatic relations on 8 August 1990, our bilateral relations have grown from strength to strength. In Jakarta 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 a watershed in the history of our bilateral relations. It signals our determination to complement each other’s efforts at achieving common national purposes and still serve constructive regional and global ends.
Following up the Joint Declaration, on 21 January 2010 China and Indonesia agreed to sign and carry out a Plan of Action (PoA), covering the establishment of a bilateral dialogue mechanism, fields of technical bilateral cooperation, cooperation in international and regional affairs, funding arrangement for any activity under the PoA, and a review mechanism. The PoA serves as the strategic partnership’s signpost and reference in the fields of political, legal and security; economic and development; as well as in the socio-cultural field, tourism, and science and technology.
We in Indonesia are determined to nurture and strengthen our partnership with China on the basis of mutual respect, common understanding and sincerity. We are already cooperating in various fields but we can still strengthen our present cooperation and open new avenues for working together to advance our peoples’ interests. While we in Indonesia have been fully committed to a “One-China Policy” since 1950, China has commendably reciprocated by consistently adhering to a policy of non-interference and strongly supporting Indonesian sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity.
Towards a Strategic Partnership
The Strategic Partnership Declaration has proven to be effective to boost our bilateral relations in many fields. In economic sector, our trade volume has steadily increased. In 2009, based on the report by Indonesia’s National Statistics Bureau, our bilateral trade amounted to US$ 25.5 billion. The implementation of ASEAN-China Free Trade (ACFTA) since 1 January 2010 is expected to further enhance our trade activities. Currently, we are targeting the two-way trade volume at US$ 50 billion by 2015.
It is to be noted, however, according to our statistics, in 2009, the total investment of China to Indonesia merely amounted to US$ 65.50 million. While during the first half of 2009 alone, Indonesian investment in China already stood at US$ 65.54 million. We need to work harder to convince Chinese investors to come and invest in Indonesia. It is against this backdrop, we have aggressively conducted various investment promotion programs across China in an attempt to encourage more Chinese investors to explore lucrative markets in Indonesia, in particular in infrastructure and transportation sectors.
On tourism, last year, the number of Chinese travelers visiting Indonesia reached 324,887. As China has been able to create an affluent society, the enthusiasm of its people to travel overseas increases accordingly in the past few years. We therefore aim to attract 564.000 tourists from China this year.
Indeed, the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations should serve as a catalyst for Indonesia and China to widen and deepen our friendly ties for the benefit of our two peoples. The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Indonesia on 23-24 April 2010 is timely as the two friendly countries have committed themselves to working jointly to help establish a region that is stable, peaceful and prosperous.
As Indonesian Ambassador to this beautiful country, I am looking forward to receiving inputs from all quarters in order to further advance our national interests. I wish the friendship and cooperation in various sectors that we have forged will grow far stronger in the years to come. Happy Anniversary.