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China and Indonesia
2004/04/21

I. Political Relations

China and Indonesia established diplomatic relations on 13 April 1950, which was suspended on 30 October 1967 due to the occurrence of the "November 30 event" of 1965.

The bilateral relations began to ease since 1980s. Foreign Minister Qian Qichen of China met respectively with President Soharto and State Minister Moerdiono of Indonesia in 1989 to discuss the resumption of diplomatic relations of the two countries. In December 1989, the two sides held talks on the technical issues regarding the normalization of bilateral relations and signed the Minutes. Foreign Minister Ali Alatas of Indonesia visited China on invitation in July 1990 and the two sides issued the Agreement on the Settlement of Indonesia's Debt Obligation to China and the Communique on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries. The two countries issued the "Communiqué on the Restoration of Diplomatic Relations between the Two Countries".

Premier Li Peng visited Indonesia on invitation in August 6, 1990. In his talks with President Soharto, the two sides expressed their willingness to improve and develop the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in the spirit of looking forward and on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence and the Ten Principles of Bandung Conference. On 8 August, Foreign Ministers of China and Indonesia on behalf of their respective governments, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations. The two sides declared the formal resumption of the diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia on that day.

The bilateral relations developed steadily since the resumption of diplomatic relations of the two countries. The leaders of the two sides have maintained exchange of visits and contacts. As a result, mutual understanding and trust had been increasing, laying the foundation for the healthy and steady development of bilateral relations. The two Ministries of Foreign Affairs set up a consultative mechanism and have held 5 rounds of consultations by 1999. The recent years have witnessed the constant deepening of economic and trade cooperation and increase of the trade volume year by year. Exchanges and cooperation in other fields are under way. China and Indonesia have maintained good coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. Some of the issues between the two countries left over by history are starting to be solved.

Since the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries, President Yang Shangkun (in 1991), Chairman of NPC Standing Committee Qiao Shi (in 1993) and Vice Premier Zhu Rongji (in 1996), Vice President Hu Jintao (in 2000) of China visited Indonesia. President Soharto(in 1990), Speaker of Parliament Suhud(in 1991), Vice President Sudarmono(in 1992) and Chairman of the Supreme Advisory Council Sudomo(in 1997) visited China. President Jiang Zemin of China paid a state visit to Indonesia in November 1994 after he attended the second APEC Leaders' Informal Meeting. In December 1999, President K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia paid a state visit to China, during which the two countries issued a joint press communiqué. In July 2000, Vice President Hu Jintao visited Indonesia at the invitation of Vice President Megawati.

In November 2001, Premier Zhu Rongji paid a visit to Indonesia. In March 2002, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri paid a state visit to China. In April, President Abdurrahman Wahid of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly visited China. In September, Chairman Li Peng of the NPC paid an official friendly visit to Indonesia.

Starting from 1991, the foreign ministries of the two countries set up a consultation mechanism and up to now it has held six times of consultation. In March 2002, the two countries exchanged notes in regard with the setup of Indonesian consulates general in Guangzhou and Shanghai. Indonesia has its Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

II. Economic and Trade Relations and Technological Cooperation

The foreign trade and economic cooperation of the two countries witnessed a smooth development. After of restoration of the diplomatic relations the two countries have signed the "Air Transport Agreement", "Investment Protection Agreement", "Sea Transportation Agreement", "Agreement on Avoiding Dual Taxation" and also signed the memorandum for understanding of cooperation in the fields of mining, forestry, tourism, fishery, transportation, agriculture and finance, etc. In 1990, the two countries set up a joint committee for economic, trade and technological cooperation and so far it has held five meetings for it. In March 2002, an energy forum was put up and held the first meeting in September of the year.

Bilateral trade volume has risen very quickly since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties, from 1.18 billion US$ in 1990 to 7.464 billion in 2000. In 2001, the bilateral trade volume slided down a little bit, telling USD 6.725 billion due to the global economic slowdown and the first half of 2002 accounted for USD 3.6 billion, an increase of 5.7 percent compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. China is the 5th trade partner of Indonesia while Indonesia the 17th of China. By the end of 2001, agriculture, energy, exploration of resources and infrastructure construction had become the major parts of their economic and trade cooperation.

Dual directional investment has been gradually developed. Up to the 2001, the approved investment by Indonesia in China came to 841 items with an agreed investment valued at 1.7 billion in US dollars. China set up 53 non-trade joint ventures and jointly-operated enterprises in Indonesia with a total investment of 161 million in US dollars. By the end of 2001, the two sides reached a consensus on Bank of China reopening its branch in Jakarta.

III. Exchanges and Cooperation in Cultural, Scientific and Technological and Military Fields

The exchanges and cooperation in such various fields as culture, science and technology, education, health, military affairs, religion, tourism, communication, agriculture and forestry between China and Indonesia have been further developed after the resumption of their diplomatic ties. The two sides signed a series of documents for strengthening the friendly exchanges and cooperation in the above-mentioned fields. The Agreement Relating to the Scheduled Air Transport was signed in January 1991. Air China, China South Airlines and Garuda Indonesian airlines opened direct flights between the two countries. The Ministry of Radio, Film and Television of China and the Ministry of Information of Indonesia signed a MOU on information cooperation in January 1992. Xinhua News Agency of China and Antara Press of Indonesia set up their branch offices respectively in Jakarta and Beijing according to the relevant articles of the MOU. The two sides started the programme of student exchange in 1994. The Indonesia-China Association of Economic, Social and Cultural Cooperation was founded in July 1992, and the China-Indonesia Association of Economic and Cultural Cooperation was founded in August 1993. The two associations signed a MOU on cooperation. In addition, the two sides signed a MOU on promotion of cooperation in tourism, and MOUs on health and sports cooperation. In July 2000, the two countries signed an agreement on mutually granting judicial assistance to each other. In 1997, the two countries set up a joint committee for scientific and technological cooperation and so far it had two meetings held. An "Agreement on Conducting Chinese Examination in Indonesia" was signed in May 2000. In September 2000, China approved Indonesia to be a destination for the outbound tour of Chinese citizens. In November 2001, the "Agreement for Cultural Cooperation" was signed once again.

Cooperation between local governments came to be vigorous. Beijing built up ties of friendship cities with Jakarta, the Indonesian capital city and letters of intent have been reached for establishing friendship relation at provincial level between East Java and Shanghai, Guangdong Province and North Sumatra, Fujian Province with Central Java and Hunan Province with West Nusatenggara.

IV. Other Issues

There are about 7 million Indonesians of Chinese origin and a certain number of Chinese nationals residing in Indonesia. The issue of Chinese Indonesians and overseas Chinese in Indonesia remains sensitive in bilateral relations due to various reasons. The Chinese government made representations and expressed its concern over the violence against Chinese in the turmoil taking place in Indonesia in May 1998 and requested the Indonesian government to make thorough investigation on the incidents and take effective measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. The Chinese in Indonesia: in recent years, the Indonesian government has by and by adopted some measures by abrogating some policies for restricting and discriminating the Chinese there and they are now living in a somewhat improved condition.

V. Other Major Bilateral Agreements and Documents

In May 2000, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab signed a joint statement on the direction of the development of bilateral relations in the future and a memorandum of understanding about putting in place a joint committee on bilateral cooperation.

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