Diplomat from Indonesia highlights advantages of working with China

Updated: 2013-08-30 07:06

By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily)

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Diplomat from Indonesia highlights advantages of working with China

Indonesia has always seen the rise and growth of China as "an opportunity" rather than a threat, a senior Indonesian diplomat said on Thursday.

Michael Tene, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, told China Daily that "countries in the region can work together with China so everyone can benefit".

Recently, some countries in the region have expressed concern over China's growing military strength, claiming it poses a security threat and promising to form an alliance to "encircle China".

"Security, stability and prosperity can be achieved by all. In a sense, the common good is not something that can be achieved at the expense of others, so we look forward to even closer cooperation with China," Tene said.

The Indonesian diplomat said he believes the interdependence between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should not be ignored, and the big picture should be kept in focus.

"When China is prosperous, the rest of the region definitely will enjoy the benefits, and likewise, when the rest of the region is prosperous, it will also have a positive impact on China. I think everyone will benefit," he said.

In the past two years, Southeast Asia has witnessed the influence and repercussions of Washington's Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy. Critics said some ASEAN members are taking sides between China and the United States or feeling obliged to do so.

But that is not a problem for Indonesia, the diplomat stressed.

"The region has ample space for everyone to grow together, develop closer cooperation, and ensure that everyone's interests are taken care of in a win-win situation."

Indonesia and China have enjoyed a strong strategic partnership since 2005, and Tene hopes that "new momentum will be injected" into the relationship.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Indonesia in May during his first trip abroad after taking up the post. Analysts said the trip showed Beijing's emphasis on its relationships with Southeast Asian countries.

The two sides have pledged to meet the new trade target of $80 billion by 2015 while expanding bilateral investment on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

"Both Indonesia and China are important economies, particularly for the East Asia region. The East Asia region is fortunate in the sense that we have been able to mitigate the effect of the economic crisis that has affected many parts of the world.

"It is important for countries in the region to maintain economic resilience. Both China and Indonesia can contribute significantly to that matter and make sure the region remains resilient," Tene said.

Resilience is also a keyword of the upcoming APEC Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, in October.

Indonesia has put forward "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth" as the summit's theme.

"Preparations have been made all year, and we look forward to the participation of all APEC members in that event," Tene said.

Some ASEAN members have recently seen exports slow and they face other economic challenges as well.


(China Daily USA 08/30/2013 page6)