Thursday, 7 November 2013


Sometime ago, by invitation of President SBY, China’s President Xi Jinping was paying a state visit for 2 days in Indonesia. This was his first visit to Indonesia and Southeast Asia, since his installment as President of the People’s Republic of China on November 2012 last.

Beside meeting President SBY to discuss strategic partnership between the two countries since 2005 and promotion of bilateral relationship, President XI hads also paid visit to the Parliament of RI [3/10] to deliver short message. This was for the first time that a foreign head of state was given time to speak before the Indonesian parliament.

When meeting President SBY at the State’s Palace, President Xi Jinping was flanked by foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of National Development and Reformation Commission Xu Shaoshi, Trade Minister Gao Hucheng and China’s Ambassador to Indonesia Kiu Jianchao. President SBY was flanked by Coordinating Minister Hatta Rajasa, Finance Minister Chatib Basri, Foreign Minister Marty Natalagawa, Minister of Industry MS Hidayat, Ministry of Trade Gita Wirjawan, Minister of Energy, and Mineral Resources Jerro Wacik, and Minister of Transportation EE Mangidaan.

The two countries made their commitment to step up bilateral trading and agreed to foster collaboration in industry, infra-structure building in transportation and finance, also tourism, education, and creative industry. China even stated their intention to open a Consulate General in Bali.

At Parliament, President Xi talked about China-Indonesia relationship, promotion of China-Asean relationship, and China’s concept of Peace. Visit of President Xi visit to Indonesia was meaningful indeed.

In the eyes of China, Indonesia was an important and strategic partner and was an important chain of diplomacy among countries around China. China-Indonesia dialogue and coordination was most important bilaterally of multilaterally, for the mutual interest of the two nations.

The statement was not an exaggeration. Somehow Indonesia would be the main linkage of stabilisator of the world’s economy. In the cold war era of the 1960’s, china wished Indonesia to be the energizer of countries of the third world in Asia, Africa and Latin America to balance up power of America in the West and USSR in the East.

China’s attitude to Indonesia should be seen as a form of “trust” for Indonesia as a potential of being balancer in the region. China was expecting that this historical meeting would serve as motivation for the Asia Pacific region to play the role of energizer in the rehabilitation process of global economy.

In the eyes of China, Indonesia could serve as propeller force in the rehabilitation process, especially among ASEAN states. In this regard Indonesia was expected to act with wisdom of not sacrificing national interest in responding to China’s wish. Furthermore Indonesia was expected to be inspirator in the dynamic process of free trade which might deprive Indonesia from the role of regional control to save the region from being mere market of titanic states.

Indonesia was also expecting that the long and historic relationship with China would bring positive impact. Indonesia could persuade China to be more flexible in cases of territorial dispute such as in the South China Sea. Indonesia should have greater confidence in persuading China to be more emphatic to other countries who might turn to America for help.

As one of the biggest country in the ASEAN region, Indonesia would be given more attention by China; naturally China would wish Indonesia to be a strategic partner in investment, trading in cultural links. Visit of China’s President Xi Jinping and team to Indonesia was indeed a blissful thing : China’s investors expressed their commitment to invest in infra-structure, as well as geo- thermal energy all to bring great economic impact on both nations.

Indonesia’s vast domestic market with high purchasing power was a magnetic appeal to China’s producers which they could aim their products at. A storm of China’s products had become commonplace as their prices were cheap and quality was not inferior. Cultural exchange between the two nations fostered relationship. All in all Indonesia-China bilateral relationship was the world’s highlight especially in Asia.

Indonesia would never underestimate China as an emerging superpower, edging aside America, Germany, and Japan. With forex reserves of USD 3.6 trillion, the biggest in the would, all countries would have respect for China. With their tremendous economic power they would play a dominant role in the world, doubtlessly in Asia.

Certainly the greatest benefit must be taken from the Indonesia-China relationship for the long run. Even if Indonesia was today suffering from deficit in trade balance with China, there was still potential that deficit would be minimized or even changed into surplus. Surplus for Indonesia could still be obtained from China’s other trading partners who were dependent on imported goods from Indonesia At this point the Government and national exporter-producers must be engaged with China’s trading partners and their needed products. 

Business News - October 21, 2013

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