China, Indonesia hail ‘win-win’ cooperation after rare Beijing summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – The leaders of China and Indonesia pledged to expand trade and expand cooperation in areas such as agriculture and food security, after a rare visit by a foreign head of state to anxious China.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing on Tuesday. China last hosted foreign leaders during the Winter Olympics in February, and Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those who visited Beijing.

China’s commitment, Indonesia’s number one trading partner, to deepen trade ties and support Indonesia’s presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year is an economic and political victory for Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is widely known.

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China has hailed Indonesia as a model strategic partner, in contrast to its harsh words to the United States in recent months on issues from Taiwan and Ukraine to trade practices and the South China Sea.

“(China and Indonesia) acted proactively and with a strong sense of responsibility to maintain regional peace and stability,” the joint statement said.

“In doing so, they set an example for major developing countries seeking strength through unity and win-win cooperation,” he added.

Indonesia is an important exporter of ferronicel, coal, copper and natural gas to the world’s second largest economy.

In the first half of 2022, Chinese imports from Indonesia, mostly commodities, rose 34.2% year on year, the largest rise after Russia.

The Indonesian State Palace said that China has expressed its commitment to import an additional 1 million tons of crude palm oil from Indonesia.

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Jokowi met Li and Xi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, part of a sprawling complex of villas, lakes and gardens where many foreign leaders, including the late US President Richard Nixon, were received.

As president of the G20 this year, Jokowi has sought to mend the divisions within the group that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed.

Last month, he traveled to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as to Moscow for talks with Putin. Jokowi said Indonesia was ready to be a “bridge of communication” between the two. Read more

While China has not condemned its strategic partner Russia for the invasion, it has repeatedly called for a cessation of hostilities and offered to help advance peace talks.

Both Indonesia and Russia are part of the G20, with the former taking over the group’s presidency this year.

Some G20 member states have threatened to boycott this year’s leaders’ summit on the island of Bali on November 15-16 if Putin attends.

Jokowi invited Xi to Indonesia for the November summit, according to their joint statement.

“President Xi expressed his gratitude and wished the summit a complete success,” the statement said.

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Reporting by Ryan Wu. Additional reporting by Stanley Widianto in Jakarta and Stella Keo in Beijing; Editing by Michael Perry, William MacLean and Nick McPhee

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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