To Carry on Friendship, Increase Mutual Trust and Deep Cooperation - Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Talks about Premier Wen Jiabao’s Official Visits to Malaysia and Indonesia
From April 27 to 30, 2011, Premier Wen Jiabao paid official visits to Malaysia and Indonesia on invitation. As Premier Wen's trip was coming to an end, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi introduced to the accompanying journalists Premier Wen's trip and its outcome.
Foreign Minister Yang said Premier Wen's trip to Malaysia and Indonesia is a major diplomatic move taken by China in the beginning year of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” with the goal of strengthening good-neighborly relations and friendly cooperation with surrounding countries. At present, the international and regional situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. The East Asia regional cooperation is facing both opportunities and challenges and is therefore attracting wide attention from all sides. This year marks the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Malaysia and Indonesia are both important members of ASEAN as well as emerging countries playing important roles in regional affairs. Both countries are China’s important neighbors, with which China has close ties. The trip is the second visit by a Chinese premier to Malaysia after a lapse of 6 years and the second visit by a Chinese Premier to Indonesia after a lapse of 10 years. It is of great significance to comprehensively deepening bilateral traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia and promoting China-ASEAN relations and the East Asia cooperation. In this context, Premier Wen had friendly, frank and in-depth discussions on cooperation and development with the leaders of the two countries and had talks with the people from different communities about the good-neighborly and friendly relations. During the four-day trip, Premier Wen attended more than 20 major events and delivered important speeches and remarks on several occasions. China signed a total of nearly 30 important bilateral documents covering different areas with Malaysia and Indonesia respectively. Commercial contracts worth nearly $13 billion were signed respectively between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia. Premier Wen's trip has reaffirmed China’s good-neighborly foreign policy with neighboring countries and the concept of peaceful development, cooperative development and common development, promoted political and strategic mutual trust between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia, and advanced the pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia. The trip has helped to create a harmonious, stable and cooperative surrounding environment for the peaceful development of China. It was significant, productive and successful.
I. Premier Wen's trip has enhanced political trust between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia
Yang said China’s relationship with Malaysia and with Indonesia has a long history. Malaysia is the first country in ASEAN to establish diplomatic relations with China after ASEAN was established. The two countries have established a strategic cooperative relationship. Indonesia is an important strategic partner of China and the two sides have maintained close cooperation on major international and regional affairs. Under the new situation, enhancing mutual political trust and bringing bilateral relations to a new level is the common wish of China, Malaysia and Indonesia and a major purpose of Premier Wen’s trip. During the trip, Premier Wen met with the leaders of the two countries, had cordial and frank talks with them on bilateral relations and major issues of common concern, and had candid and in-depth exchange of views with them. Broad consensus was reached.
Premier Wen stressed mutual trust is an important foundation for bilateral relations. Facing the complicated international and regional environment, China and Malaysia, China and Indonesia need to seize strategic opportunities, deepen political and strategic mutual trust, maintain and promote common interests. Premier Wen further expounded China’s basic national conditions that make China a developing country and the independent foreign policy of peace. China will continue to pursue the good-neighborly and friendly relations with surrounding countries based on mutual respect and equal treatment and adhere to the path of peaceful development. China's development will never pose a threat to any country. The Malaysian and Indonesian leaders spoke highly of the important roles played by China in safeguarding regional and global peace and prosperity. Both countries attach great importance to developing relations with China and are willing to maintain high-level exchanges and strengthen coordination and cooperation with China on major issues.
Premier Wen Jiabao pointed out both China and Malaysia are at a critical stage of development. The two countries should, from a strategic and long-term perspective, deepen friendship and mutual trust and create a more brilliant tomorrow for China-Malaysia relations. Prime Minister Najib said Malaysia regards China as a close friend and a reliable partner. Premier Wen's visit to Malaysia has injected new vitality into the development of bilateral relations. Malaysia is willing to cooperate closely with China and achieve greater development of bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral strategic consultation and increase mutual trust.
Premier Wen said China-Indonesia relations have entered a new stage of comprehensive development and have regional and global strategic significance. China is willing to work together with Indonesia to bring bilateral relations to a higher level of development and create a better future for Asia. The Indonesian side said Indonesia attaches great importance to developing relations with China and hopes to take Premier Wen's visit as an opportunity to expand consensus and plan for cooperation. Both sides believed the visit will be an important milestone in the development of China-Indonesia strategic partnership. The two governments issued the Joint Communiqué of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on Further Strengthening the Strategic Partnership" and agreed to establish a regular meeting mechanism for the leaders, improve the high-level strategic dialogue mechanism, strengthen dialogue and cooperation under the framework of the Joint Committees of Foreign Ministers.
Premier Wen also exchanged views with the leaders of the two countries on marine cooperation and agreed to continue to promote cooperation in related areas and jointly safeguard the security of the Malacca Strait. China and Indonesia signed a protocol modifying the memorandum of understanding on marine cooperation.
II. Premier Wen’s trip has promoted and drawn out a blueprint for the pragmatic cooperation between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia
Yang said China, Malaysia and Indonesia are all in a stage of rapid economic development. The Chinese economy is highly complementary with the other two economies. Malaysia has been China's biggest trading partner among the ASEAN countries for three consecutive years. China has been the largest trading partner of Malaysia for two consecutive years. The rapid development of trade and economic cooperation between China and Indonesia and the increasingly vigorous two-way investment have brought about tangible benefits to the two peoples. During the trip, Premier Wen attended China-Malaysia trade and investment cooperation forum and China-Indonesia strategic business dialogue. During the meetings and talks with the leaders of the two countries and the dialogues and interactions with business representatives in the two countries, Premier Wen repeatedly stressed the significance of making full use of preferential policies of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and promoting practical cooperation to the development of strategic relationship of cooperation between China and Malaysia and the strategic partnership between China and Indonesia. He also made proposals on planning for future cooperation with the two countries respectively.
Premier Wen has fully affirmed the significance of China-Malaysia cooperation to the development of the two countries and the region. He stressed the two sides should expand trade size and mutual investment and enhance cooperation in a wide range of areas including infrastructure development, finance, education, science and technology. China and Malaysia signed a series of important cooperation documents on expanding and deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation, which have identified the principles, direction and framework for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the new situation. The two sides have reached a number of consensuses, such as accelerating the execution of cooperation in key areas and large-scale projects, setting up branches by the banks of the two countries in the other country, and increasing the share of local currencies in trade settlement. The two sides also signed commercial agreements worth about $ 3 billion.
Premier Wen stressed that pragmatic cooperation between China and Indonesia enjoys a solid political basis and broad prospects for development. The two sides should continue to expand trade, promote infrastructure development, increase investment and multilateral economic and trade cooperation and push bilateral cooperation to a higher level and broader areas so as to better benefit the two peoples. During the trip, the two sides reached cooperation agreements worth a total of about $10 billion and established a new target of bringing bilateral trade volume to $80 billion by 2015. The two governments signed a number of documents on expanding and deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation and decided to further expand two-way investment and strengthen cooperation in such areas as finance, energy, agriculture, and non-traditional security.
These results have further strengthened China’s bilateral economic ties with the two countries respectively. The media from Malaysia, Indonesia and the international community kept a close eye on the outcome of Premier Wen’s trip and considered that the cooperation between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia is based upon mutually benefits and will benefit regional stability and development.
III. Premier Wen’s trip has further consolidated the basis of public opinion for bilateral relations
Yang said there is a long history of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia, which serves as a solid foundation for the healthy development of bilateral relations. Premier Wen attached great importance to the engagement and communication with the people from all walks of life. Before the trip, Premier Wen accepted a joint interview by the media from the two countries, and answered their questions concerning China-Malaysia relations, China-Indonesia relations, China-ASEAN relations, East Asia cooperation and China's development. He conveyed a message of China-Malaysia and China-Indonesia friendly cooperation to the two peoples. Despite of the tight schedule, Premier Wen took time to have cordial interactions with different communities to pass the good wishes and sow the seeds of friendship.
At University of Malaya and University of Al Azhar, Premier Wen had the heart-to-heart exchanges with the youth and encouraged the students to become inheritors and promoters of China-Malaysia and China-Indonesia friendships. At the meetings with the descendants of the pioneers in the 1911 Revolution and the representatives of the Chinese media based in Malaysia and Indonesia, Premier Wen recalled the glorious achievements of the revolutionary pioneers and paid tribute to those who were committed to carrying forward the spirit of Sun Yat-sen and carrying on China-Malaysia friendship. Premier Wen also delivered an important speech to the Indonesian communities, recalling the good-neighborly relations between the two countries and expounding China’s positions and propositions on China-ASEAN relations, East Asia cooperation, and China's foreign policy. During the meeting with the international medical team in Indonesia, Premier Wen thanked them for getting involved in relief work in Wenchuan earthquake and briefed them on the post-disaster reconstruction work. During the interactions with the friends from various circles in Indonesia, Wen called on both sides to raise the sails and navigate the ship of friendship to a better tomorrow. During the trip, China and Malaysia signed an agreement for mutual recognition of higher education degrees; China and Indonesia signed an agreement on the cooperation in the teaching of the Chinese language. China agreed to carry out a youth exchange program with Malaysia and Indonesia respectively in 2012 and jointly make the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations a success.
Premier Wen showed great foresight and sincere affinity, which deeply touched the hearts of many. They sincerely want to know more about China, understand more about China, and contribute to lasting friendship between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia.
During the trip, Premier Wen also met the staff of the Chinese embassies, representatives of Chinese-funded institutions and representatives of overseas Chinese. He briefed them on China’s development situation and the outcome of his trip. He encouraged them to make greater contributions to promoting the friendship between China and Malaysia and between China and Indonesia.
IV. Premier Wen has explained China’s positions and propositions on developing China-ASEAN relations and East Asia cooperation
Yang said this year marks the 20th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Indonesia is the largest country in ASEAN and is ASEAN's rotating presidency this year. Malaysia is one of the founders of ASEAN. China’s dialogue with ASEAN started from Malaysia. The current East Asia cooperation is facing a new situation. During the trip, Premier Wen had frank and in-depth exchange of views with the leaders of the two countries as well as ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan on China-ASEAN relations and the East Asia cooperation. He also took every opportunity to expound China’s positions on those issues in speeches and remarks.
Premier Wen has fully affirmed the important role of ASEAN in promoting regional stability, development and progress, and spoke highly of the historic progress of China-ASEAN relations. He said China will as always support the ASEAN integration and community-building, deepen pragmatic cooperation and cultural exchanges with ASEAN, and work together with ASEAN to maintain security and stability in the region. With regard to the East Asia cooperation, Premier Wen stressed that China welcomes all the proposals that are conducive to promoting regional stability and development. China supports the development of the East Asia Summit process. Meanwhile, a step by step approach should be adopted and the principle of starting with easy things first should be adhered to. The autonomy and diversity of East Asia should be respected. Currently, the existing cooperation frameworks such as "10+1", "10+3" and China-Japan-ROK cooperation, should be fully exploited and other means of cooperation in line with regional characteristics should also be explored. The East Asia Summit should continue to stick to its nature as a leaders-led strategic forum.
The leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia expressed alignments with Premier Wen’s views and opinions. They appreciated China's long-standing support for ASEAN integration and said they would jointly push for new progress in China-ASEAN relations. They would grasp the correct direction of East Asia cooperation, maintain and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. ASEAN Secretary General Surin said China is a good and reliable neighbor of ASEAN. ASEAN is willing to take the 20th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations as an opportunity to drive the ASEAN-China strategic partnership forward.
Yang concluded by saying that Premier Wen's trip was a successful journey of friendship and cooperation and achieved the desired purposes. The trip has further deepened China’s relations with Malaysia and Indonesia, has advanced regional cooperation and will exert important and far-reaching influence on peace, stability and harmonious development of the region.