Chinese premier vows to boost friendly relations with Indonesia, ASEAN

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao concluded Saturday an official visit to Indonesia where he reiterated China’s willingness to boost friendly relations with Indonesia and with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In a speech delivered Saturday morning at Balai Kartini in Jakarta, Wen said China will strengthen its good-neighborly relations with Indonesia and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.

He said both China and Indonesia boast a long and splendid culture and the two peoples sympathized with and supported each others during the hard struggles for national independence and forged a strong bond of friendship.

Wen said he has held comprehensive and in-depth talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his visit, and that the two sides have reached important agreement and decided to further strengthen China-Indonesia strategic partnership.

“My visit this time is a journey of friendship and cooperation. It is also aimed at planning for the future,” he added.

On relations with ASEAN, Wen said China will stick to its policy of securing an amicable, tranquil and prosperous neighborhood in dealing with ASEAN, currently chaired by Indonesia.

“China firmly supports ASEAN’s leading role in regional cooperation,” he said, adding that the existing regional cooperation mechanism in East Asia should always develop with ASEAN in the driver’s seat.

China firmly holds the belief that East Asian cooperation will enjoy sound development only if ASEAN continues to play its leading role, he said. “China is committed to deepening practical cooperation with ASEAN.”

Also on Saturday, at a forum of business leaders from both countries, Wen put forward a four-point proposal for the widening of trade and economic cooperation between China and Indonesia.

He proposed to enlarge the scale of bilateral trade between China and Indonesia, step up bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction, promote two-way investment and intensify multilateral trade and economic cooperation.

China and Indonesia should also intensify multilateral trade and economic cooperation, by making full use of the preferential policies of the free trade area between China and ASEAN, he added.

Meanwhile, Premier Wen met with ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, saying that over the past 20 years since China and ASEAN established dialogue relationship, pragmatic cooperation in various fields has been continuously deepened.

He said China will unswervingly uphold the policy of comprehensively strengthening good-neighborly relationship and mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN so as to boost the China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a new stage.

Premier Wen also held meetings with Indonesian Vice President Boediono and Speaker of the House of Representatives Marzuki Alie Saturday to boost cooperation between the two countries.

At the meeting with Boediono, Wen said that Sino-Indonesian bilateral trade has grown rapidly in recent years as China has become the largest exporter of non-oil and gas products to Indonesia and the second largest export market and trading partner of the Southeast Asian country.

He also expressed the hope that China and Indonesia would work together to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and other sectors to promote common development and prosperity.

During talks with Marzuki, Wen said he had an extensive exchange of views with Indonesian President Susilo on comprehensively deepening pragmatic cooperation in various fields between the two countries, adding the talks were “very fruitful.”

On Saturday night, Premier Wen arrived in Beijing after concluding his visit to Indonesia.

Special Report: Premier Wen Visits Malaysia, Indonesia

BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) —

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