China, Indonesia pledge to promote ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific

China and Indonesia agreed on Thursday to formulate an action plan as soon as possible to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

The consensus was reached when Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Tunxi, east China’s Anhui Province.

Noting that China supports ASEAN’s centrality in regional cooperation, he said the goals and objectives of the ASEAN Outlook are quite different from the US “Indo-Pacific Strategy”, which aims to provoke a confrontation between the camps and trigger regional tensions.

Retno agreed that from the beginning, ASEAN’s outlook has focused on the economy and development, is committed to mutually beneficial cooperation in the region and safeguards the common interests of the countries of the region.

On China-Indonesia relations, Wang said both sides should make efforts to ensure the timely and high-quality completion of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway.

The two sides should support cooperation between companies of the two countries in the fields of vaccines, production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, research and development, and help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center, did he declare.

China welcomes more high-quality Indonesian products to China to achieve balanced and healthy development of bilateral trade, he added.

Retno said China has become Indonesia’s biggest trading partner and bilateral trade grew by 54 percent last year, creating 250,000 jobs for Indonesia.

Indonesia invites China to increase investment and participate in building its new capital, she said.

She also thanked China for helping Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center and said her country is willing to step up bilateral cooperation with China in health and connectivity.

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