Beijing, Jakarta to work for stability
Updated: 2012-09-09 08:55
By Wu Jiao in Vladivostok, Russia and Zhao Shengnan in Beijing (China Daily)
President Hu calls for handling South China Sea issue through consultation
Beijing and Jakarta on Saturday agreed to work together for regional peace and development as their leaders met at the APEC forum in Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.
Meeting his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President Hu Jintao said China and Indonesia share common interests in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Hu made the remarks as actions taken by several ASEAN countries seeking advantages in their competing claims of the South China Sea area have intensified the regional situation.
Special coverage: Hu attends APEC Summit
While some ASEAN countries sought to flame up the dispute and internationalize the issue, China has always favored bilateral political dialogue between direct claimants to solve the issue.
Hu said it is in the common interests of countries concerned to properly handle the issue through dialogue and consultation.
China is ready to work with ASEAN countries to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, advance practical cooperation, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the region, Hu said.
Indonesia, the largest member of the ASEAN group and having no overlapping claims with China over the South China Sea, has played a leading role in regional affairs.
In 2007, ASEAN leaders adopted a blueprint guiding its economic community establishment, aiming to have a competitive market by turning ASEAN into a single market and production base.
Luo Yongkun, an expert on Southeast Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that the core of the South China Sea issue is cooperation, and Indonesia, with stable politics and steady economic growth, is able to promote such cooperation.
"China values Indonesia's leading role in promoting the community's construction based on ASEAN internal consolidation, as well as forming a larger community in East Asia that includes China," he said.
During the meeting, the two leaders also pledged to advance bilateral political and economic ties by reinforcing strategic communication and beefing up economic and trade cooperation.
Yudhoyono said Indonesia is ready to promote bilateral relations and willing to maintain frequent high-level contact as well as consultation at all levels with China to expand trade and investment. He said his country welcomes Chinese companies to participate in major infrastructure projects, manufacturing and energy industry.
Indonesia, with a total GDP of more than $1 trillion and a population of 240 million, is the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is China's third-largest trade partner among the ASEAN. In 2011, bilateral trade hit $60 billion, increasing by more than 41 percent over the previous year.
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