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Indonesia covets improved cooperation with China
Publication Date : 15-03-2013
Despite robust relations with China, especially in the economic sector, Indonesian experts believe the country should pursue a wider scope of cooperation with the Asian super power that elected heir-in-waiting Xi Jinping as its new president on Thursday.
China’s parliament completed the country’s second orderly political succession since the Communist Party took power in 1949.
University of Indonesia’s expert on Chinese relations, Natalia Su-bagyo, underlined the need for Indonesia to put more effort into developing its ties with China.
“We need a greater exchange of knowledge and ‘best practices’ with China,” she said.
Since the two countries face similar problems and challenges, Indonesia could discuss many things with China, such as sharing experiences in alleviating poverty, corruption and infrastructure development, Natalia explained.
“The idea is that we need to widen our cooperation far beyond the economic aspect,” she said.
Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Commission I overseeing foreign affairs, Mahfudz Siddiq, hoped that China’s new leader could maintain the country’s path to modernisation along with democratisation.
Xi is expected to prioritise moderation in the region so China can maintain peace and stability and not create new tensions in dealing with the region’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
Mahfudz also hoped Indonesia and China could develop a more balanced and beneficial relationship, especially in bilateral trade.
Indonesia and China’s diplomatic relations were restored in July 1990, and since then cooperation has risen, especially in politics, economics and culture.
Natalia noted that China’s new leadership would not make any surprise changes to policy, since they have underscored sustainability.
“Leaders in China have been prepared long before the announcement as they picked the best party member, not a newcomer,” she said.
As part of a younger generation, Xi is expected to be more relaxed and open-minded in facing the dynamics of a fast-changing Chinese society; the needs of transparency amid global openness.