China wants Jakarta to play important role

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Fri Dec 3 06:52:40 MST 1999

3 December 1999
China wants Jakarta to play important role
BEIJING: Chinese President Jiang Zemin has expressed support for the new
Indonesian governments efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and wants
Jakarta to play an active role in regional affairs.
The Chinese stand on Indonesia was conveyed by Jiang to visiting Indonesian
President Abdurrahman Wahid during a meeting here on Wednesday, official
media reported.
"China supports the effort made by Wahid's administration in safeguarding
the country's unification and territorial integrity," Jiang said.
"The stability and prosperity of Indonesia is conducive to peace and
development in the region, and China hopes Indonesia would continue to play
an active role in regional affairs and contribute to advancing Sino-ASEAN
cooperation," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
He noted that China and Indonesia were both developing countries and the two
sides shared similar or identical views on some major international issues.
Wahid, now on a three-day state visit to China, concurred with Jiang's
remarks and said his government placed great emphasis on relations with
China and hopes to develop overall cooperative ties with China.
Commenting on ethnic strife in Indonesia, especially the anti-Chinese riots
in May last year, Wahid said the Indonesian government would not fail to let
Indonesians of Chinese origin share equal rights with other ethnic groups
and to be fully integrated into society.
He said Chinese Indonesians have long been members of the Indonesian society
and have made great contributions to the country's economic development, and
they should enjoy equal rights and obligations with rest of the citizens.
Jiang noted that both China and Indonesia were big countries in Asia and
have no conflict in their fundamental interests. Great potential in many
fields exists in Sino-Indonesian cooperation, he said.
China's relations with Indonesia nosedived last year after large-scale riots
in Indonesia in May last year when many ethnic Chinese fell victims to mob
Though the Chinese ethnic community constitutes only a small percentage of
Indonesia's population, they dominate the economy. This has made them
frequent targets of mob attacks as Indonesia faced a period of serious and
prolonged economic hardship.
 For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

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