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Remarks at the Reception Marking His Assumption of Office By H.E. Mr. Xiao Qian

Distinguished guests,

Dear colleagues from the diplomatic corps,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Selamat malam! Thank you all for being here tonight, especially those who have traveled afar for the event. We have just entered the Lunar Chinese New Year of the Dog. Please accept my New Year greetings.

I am greatly honored to be Ambassador to Indonesia and I feel lucky to be one at the right time. I started to work on China-Indonesia relations 20 years ago. Over the past 20 years, China has achieved great progress, Indonesia has achieved great progress and China-Indonesia relations have also achieved great progress, especially under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo in recent years.

We have maintained frequent high-level exchanges and strengthened mutual trust and confidence. President Jokowi visited China five times and President Xi and President Jokowi met six times. The two presidents reached consensus on further strengthening our comprehensive strategic partnership. We have also maintained dialogues and consultations at all levels covering various areas.

Our economic and trade relations have grown from strength to strength. China is Indonesia's largest trading partner for seven consecutive years. Our bilateral trade figure for last year reached 63.3 billion US dollars, a 18.3% increase compared to the previous year. And the good news for Indonesia is that the Indonesian export to China has risen by 33%, making our trade relations more balanced. Chinese investment in Indonesia reached 3.4 billion US dollars last year, an increase of more than 30%. Major cooperation projects including the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway are well under construction. Meanwhile, new driving forces keep emerging in such sectors as infrastructure, industrial capacity and digital economy, expanding and deepening our practical cooperation.

The vigorous people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries have reached historical new height. China ranked as Indonesia's largest source of foreign tourists. The number of Chinese tourists to Indonesia reached 2.06 million last year, breaking a new record. More than 14,000 Indonesians are studying in China, making China the second most popular overseas education destination for Indonesian students. Last September,two Chinese giant pandas, Cai Tao and Hu Chun, made their home in Indonesia, contributing to the ever closer friendship between our people.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. Four decades of relentless efforts have turned China into the world's second largest economy with annual GDP in 2017 exceeding 12 trillion US dollars, contributing over 30% to global economic growth. The 19th CPC National Congress laid out the blueprint for China's future development until mid-21st Century, announcing China's aspiration to jointly build a community of shared future for mankind.

Indonesia is a major country with significant influence on regional and global arenas. In recent years, under the strong leadership of President Jokowi, Indonesia has enjoyed political stability, social harmony and rapid economic growth. As Indonesia's neighbor and partner, we feel truly happy for your achievement.

China's development will benefit not only its people but the rest of the world. As China entered a new era, the development of China and of Indonesia as well as the development of China-Indonesia bilateral relationship are faced with tremendous opportunities. China is ready to work with Indonesia to further promote synergy between development strategies, achieve common development, promote regional integration, and build a new type of international relations, so as to contribute our share to the peace, stability and prosperity in our region and beyond.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As Chinese Ambassador, I am ready to work with colleagues and friends in Indonesia to further advance the friendship and cooperation between China and Indonesia. I am confident that with shared commitment and efforts of both sides and with help and assistance from friends present tonight, the relationship between China and Indonesia will have an even brighter future!

Terima Kasih!

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