Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Saturday said that bilateral relations between Indonesia and China were currently the strongest they had ever been.
“Indonesia and China’s current relationship is actually at the highest point it has been since we started building the relationship in the last 20 years,” Marty said in a speech at the Indonesia Council of World Affairs (ICWA) at the conclusion of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s two-day visit to Jakarta.
The foreign minister said Wen’s visit to Indonesia showed how strong ties between the two countries were.
“Improvements to the relationship have been built according to the spirit of friendship, equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit,” Marty said.
Wen also gave a policy speech at the ICWA on Saturday, in which he emphasized the importance of relations with Indonesia and said that China wanted to boost its cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“Asean is a political, economic, social and cultural community which has a strong influence,” he said.
“Therefore, China needs to build a partnership with Asean countries so that we can establish a free-trade zone, holding as the basis both the interests of Asean countries and China.”
Wen said China planned to construct land transportation infrastructure from China to other Asean countries in order to help these countries develop their own state infrastructure.
“China is willing to help Asean countries without any conditions, because there are still some countries facing poverty.”