Diplo­mat from In­done­sia high­lights ad­van­tages of work­ing with China

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn MICHAEL TENE

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.

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