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Indonesia’s Widodo Visits Beijing

July 26, 2022 (EIRNS)—Indonesian President Joko Widodo has just made a two-day visit to Beijing on July 25-26. According to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the focus of the visits (he will continue on to South Korea and Japan afterwards) “is to strengthen economic cooperation, especially in trade and investment.” Trade between China and Indonesia has grown dramatically, increasing in just the last year to $120 billion. China’s largest commodity import from Indonesia has been 67 million tons of coal, which has grown recently, after tensions with China’s former leading coal exporter, Australia.

The two leaders also discussed the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Railway, a $2 billion project being built by China, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor project. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, President Widodo also spoke of China’s great success in its war on poverty, saying, “Indonesia admires China’s remarkable accomplishments in poverty alleviation and wants to draw on China’s successful experience.” President Xi stated today that

“China will continue to fully support Indonesia in building a regional vaccine production hub, and will step up public health cooperation with Indonesia. China is willing to import more commodities and quality agro- and by-products from Indonesia. China will take an active part in the development of Indonesia’s new capital and the North Kalimantan Industrial Park, expand cooperation in development financing, and cultivate new growth drivers....”

In addition, Xi and Widodo spoke about the broader issues and future facing the region and the world. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry:

“President Xi pointed out that facing changes in the world that are unfolding in ways like never before, China and Indonesia need to stand together in solidarity, fulfill the responsibilities of major developing countries, follow true multilateralism, uphold open regionalism, and contribute Oriental wisdom and Asia’s input to the development of global governance.... China welcomes Indonesia’s continued active participation in ‘BRICS Plus’ cooperation. China appreciates Indonesia’s support for and commitment to the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and is ready for closer communication and cooperation with Indonesia in this regard.”

Indonesia is the 2022 president of the Group of 20 and will host the G20 Summit in Bali on Nov. 15-16; it will also be the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2023. Widodo and other Indonesian leaders have also repeatedly resisted geopolitical pressure from the U.S. and the West to disengage from Russia and China. Attempts to push Widodo to disinvite President Vladimir Putin of Russia from the G20 Summit this year have met a firm resolve from the Indonesian President. Moreover, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mark Milley, who made a stopover on July 24 in Jakarta to call China the biggest threat to the region, has clearly not deterred Widodo from his warm visit with President Xi.

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