Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador LU Kang At the The National Resilience Institute of RI

2023-05-22 23:48

On 22 May 2023, Ambassador Lu Kang was invited to deliver a keynote speech on China’s foreign policy and China-Indonesia relations at the The National Resilience Institute of Indonesia (Lemhannas), and exchanged views on related issues with participants. The full transcript of the speech is as follows:

Distinguished Deputy Governor Mohamad Sabrar Fadhilah,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning everyone!

It gives me great honor and pleasure to speak here at Lemhannas, the National Resilience Institute of the Republic of Indonesia. Thank you Governor Andi for your warm invitation.

Over the past 58 years, Lemhannas has made important contributions to the strategy designing and capacity-building for the Government of Indonesia. In light of the growing national strength and increasing influence in the region and world at large, especially in recent years as a result of the leadership of President Joko Widodo, I believe that, led by Governor Andi, Lemhannas will play a greater role in enhancing Indonesia’s international standing. The Chinese Embassy in Indonesia is ready to broaden exchanges with Lemhannas for deeper mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Three days ago, the world witnessed 3 summits simultaneously: the first in China’s Xi’an, focusing on the Belt and Road cooperation and development networking; the second in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, welcoming Syria back to the League of Arab States and calling for unity among countries in the region; the third in Japan’s Hiroshima, however, with a key tone quite different, still assuming that the Group of 7 countries are in the position to dictate the world. On that same day, May 19th, a fellow Ambassador here in Jakarta told me “we are already entering a new Cold War era”. Whether you agree or not, there are disturbing developments in today’s world, including challenges to the peace, stability and prosperity cherished by people in our Asia-Pacific region. Let me just name a few:

Bloc confrontation on rise. We have seen the tendency by certain countries to highlight ideological differences and form cliques, in an attempt to launch a new “Cold War”. Unfortunate crises like the Ukraine case has been manipulated to split the world, regardless of the prolonged sufferings of innocent civilians as well as spillovers on food, energy, and financial security, of which we developing countries are bearing the brunt.

Globalization at stake. We have seen the tendency by certain country to pursue unilateralism against globalization. Economic policies and relations are politicized and weaponized. It obstructs market-based industrial and supply chains. Even worse, it manipulates macro tools to further deprive developing countries of wealth, adding to global poverty and inequality.

International order under attack. We have seen the tendency towards double-standard practice by certain country, with its willful withdrawal from multilateral instruments and selective application of international rules. It violates the basic norms governing free trade, intervenes in other countries’ internal affairs, more and more resorting to unjustified unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, exactly the kind of “economic coercion” label they put on other countries these days.

Ironically, it is such countries that have created the term “rules-based international order”. But even up to now, they refrain from telling the world the “rules” in their rhetoric are defined by whom? Are the “rules” in their rhetoric identical to the basic norms governing international relations, like the UN Charter? We have to be fair. International rules are supposed to be those universally recognized and accepted, including by the vast number of developing countries, instead of anything defined, interpreted, and cherry-picked by a handful of countries.

Regional cooperation in danger. Asia-Pacific, with its peace and development through years, has long been a significant driving force for global growth. However, we have seen the tendency by certain country to destabilize and split our region by provoking security confrontation and imposing economic decoupling. The AUKUS puts international non-proliferation regime at high stake. The IPEF was initiated not for strengthening regional economic integration, but selective exclusion out of geopolitical attempts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Against such global and regional landscape, it is fair for many of you looking at China’s policy choice, owing to both China’s role therein and its close relationship with countries in the region.

It is a fact that China has become the second largest economy after four decades of fast growth. But another fact is no less important, namely, unlike other powers in modern world history, China’s growth has been achieved never through colonization, plunder, or war. Actually in the Chinese traditional philosophy, people do not believe in that strength necessarily results in hegemony. Instead, China has been, and will continue to stick to development in a peaceful, open and cooperative approach. It is already enshrined in China’s Constitution our commitment to peaceful development, probably the only case worldwide. And the Chinese modernization, as outlined at the 20th CPC National Congress, is featured with peaceful development. At this Congress, President Xi Jinping reiterated that, “China adheres to the path of peaceful development”.

That has been the fundamental perspective underpinning China’s foreign doctrines. Ten years ago, President Xi Jinping put forward the vision of A Community with a Shared Future for Mankind. Now this vision is already enshrined in the Constitution of the CPC in 2017 and the Constitution of China in 2018.

—The vision of A Community with a Shared Future for Mankind has provided China’s solution to the development dilemma. President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative, GDI, aimed at accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, for stronger, greener and healthier global development.

The Group of Friends of GDI, with Indonesia inside, is working on a cooperation network in agriculture, vocational education, and climate change response. China-sponsored Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund will provide financial support. China is ready to work with all partners on poverty reduction and alleviation, food security, and industrialization, on the Special Action to Promote Food Production and Global Clean Energy Partnership, on smart customs, digital education, elimination of plastic pollution, on satellite data sharing. By doing so, we hope SDGs will bring about more deliverables.

—The vision provides China’s proposal for addressing the security deficit. Global Security Initiative, GSI, proposed by President Xi Jinping, upholds the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. It pursues the long-term goal of a security community, and advocates a new path to security featuring dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance and win-win over zero-sum mentality.

Last March, China facilitated the detente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is a good example for our friends in the Middle East to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation for common interests. Last April, Syrian Foreign Minister made the first visit to Saudi Arabia since 2011, and last week President Bashar al-Assad returned to the Arab Summit. During the past weekend, Bahrain and Lebanon announced resumption of diplomatic relationship. Qatar and Bahrain agreed to resume their diplomatic ties. Progress has been made in Yemen peace process. We are very happy to see this tide of reconciliation in the Middle East, and will continue to make our efforts.

China is working on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and released its Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis. President Xi Jinping had in-depth communication with leaders of both Russia and Ukraine. Right now, Ambassador Li Hui, Special Representative of the Chinese Government for Eurasian Affairs, is visiting Europe to talk with all relevant parties on the political settlement of the crisis.

—The vision offers Chinese wisdom on preventing clash of civilizations. At the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting last March, President Xi Jinping put forth the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). The GCI advocates respect for the diversity of civilizations, and common values of humanity. It also emphasizes the importance of international people-to-people exchanges. It is a strong rebuttal to such arguments assuming superiority of certain civilizations over others and clash of civilizations. The GCI offers China's solution to exchanges, mutual learning and common progress among global civilizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When it comes to China’s foreign policy, China-US relations is an inevitable topic. Unfortunately the status quo of this important bilateral relationship is not in conformity with the interests of either side, nor the expectation of the international community. In our view, the China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game or a life-and-death struggle. The ideological war, security war, trade war, and technology war kicked off by the United States run counter to international norms, and serves the interests of no one. China will firmly uphold its legitimate rights as always. We believe that, China-US relations can only be and must be based on the principle of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.

The One-China principle is the fundamental bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations. There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. President Biden reaffirmed on many occasions that the United States adheres to the One-China Policy, and does not support “Taiwan independence”. The US Government also publicly commits itself not to pursue a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, which explicitly obliges its adherence to the One-China principle. However, by supporting the separatist forces and moves on the Taiwan island, by engaging in attempts to plot de facto “one China, one Taiwan” or “two Chinas”, the US has failed its words, infringed upon China’s national interests, and violated the international norms. We urge the United States to cease to contain China by manipulating the Taiwan question. We urge the US to return to the fundamentals of the One-China principle, and honor its political commitment to China. On the Taiwan question, it would be unfortunate and just wrong for anyone to have any illusions on the will of the Government and people of China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China has been back to the normal track of social and economic life, as the impact of COVID-19 is phasing out. In the first quarter of this year, China’s GDP grew by 4.5% year-on-year. International institutions have raised their forecasts on China’s growth. IMF predicts a 5.2% growth rate in 2023, which will contribute to 30% of global growth.

Further development in China will bring more opportunities for all partners, especially our neighbors. According to IMF Managing Director, every 1% increase in China’s GDP growth will give an average additional 0.3 % increase in other Asian economies. With a population over 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of over 400 million, China has the most promising market in the world. China International Import Expo, the Canton Fair, and China-ASEAN Expo have become important platforms for products from Indonesia and other neighboring countries entering China. This year marks the 45th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. We are advancing a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and in greater depth. And that will bring more dividends to our neighboring countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The friendly ties between China and Indonesia date way back. Our bilateral relations, even in the context of COVID-19, have grown in a sustained, comprehensive and robust manner with fruitful outcomes.

First, deeper political mutual trust. In 2022, President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo exchanged visits within half a year, setting the goal of jointly building the China-Indonesia community with a shared future. This provides a grand blueprint for our bilateral relations.

Second, strong economic and trade cooperation. China has been Indonesia's largest trading partner for the past 10 consecutive years, and its main source of investment for the past few years. In 2022, our bilateral trade reached nearly 150 billion US dollars, China's investment in Indonesia reached a record high of 8.23 billion US dollars. The trial operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway was a complete success. We also see a number of highlights in “Two Countries, Twin Parks” and other cooperation projects.

Third, people-to-people exchanges are resuming. The number of direct flights between China and Indonesia is rising. Cross-border travels are back to normal. Indonesia is among the first 20 destinations for China’s outbound group tours after COVID-19. Indonesian students are returning to China.

Fourth, China and Indonesia understand and support each other on issues concerning each other's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. China appreciates that the Indonesian Government upholds the principle of non-interference in internal affairs on issues related to China's Xinjiang and Taiwan. China also firmly supports Indonesia on the Papua issue.

Fifth, China and Indonesia stand together to safeguard the common interests of developing countries. We work closely under the UN and G20, to better coordinate on global issues such as climate change, food and energy security. Together, we are working for a fairer and more equitable international order.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of China-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and also the 10th Anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping. China-Indonesia relations are embracing further opportunities.

We will keep the momentum of high-level exchanges. We would welcome President Joko Widodo to attend the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. Chinese leader is also expected to come to Indonesia for East Asia leaders’ meetings. High-level exchanges will inject great impetus into our bilateral relations.

We will further synergize our development strategies. China-Indonesia Belt and Road cooperation is in conformity with Indonesia’s development strategy. China will work with Indonesia to put the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway into operation as scheduled, so as to benefit the Indonesian people as soon as possible. We will further explore cooperation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor and other projects.

We will create more cooperation highlights. President Joko Widodo attaches great importance to digital economy, green economy and blue economy. We are following very closely the efforts by our Indonesian friends on digitalisation, energy transformation, green development, marine resources, and downstream industries.

China and Indonesia have signed MoU on digital economy cooperation. Chinese partners such as Huawei and ZTE have worked with local telecom operators to expand network coverage to major Indonesian islands. Among the top 100 Apps downloaded in Indonesia, about one-third are jointly developed by Chinese and Indonesian partners. Alibaba and Tencent join hands with GOTO and other Indonesian companies in capital, technology, and management.

Electric vehicle is leading our two countries' green cooperation. Wuling Air EV can be seen in Jakarta very often now. This car was used for the G20 Summit in Bali, and will be used for the East Asia leaders' meetings in the coming September. It now accounts for almost 80% of the EV market in Indonesia, in less than one year since its launch last August.

Indonesia has a vast ocean area with rich fishery resources. China imports a large amount of seafood from Indonesia every year. Companies from our two countries are exploring cooperation in the entire industrial chain, from fishing and breeding to processing.

Chinese companies, answering the call of the Indonesian Government, invest in nickel, aluminum and other mineral processing industries. Their investment helps significantly increase the added value and contributes to Indonesia’s revenue and employment.

China is ready to make the best of its technology, capital and experience, to provide more support to Indonesia’s development strategy. We can further deepen cooperation in digital infrastructure, e-commerce, and smart cities. We can strengthen collaboration in clean energy, EV, and EV batteries. We can leverage the maritime cooperation mechanism to deepen cooperation in the National Fish Barn, marine pasture and seawater desalination. We can expand our cooperation on downstream industries to help industrial upgrading, and bring more benefits to the Indonesian people.

We will encourage closer people-to-people exchanges. China is ready to promote such exchanges with Indonesia for mutual learning. China is sending cultural delegations to Indonesia, an opportunity to draw upon each other's civilization. China will host the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in the coming September, and Indonesian athletes are expected therefor. We also invite Indonesian Islamic groups to tour around China, including to Xinjiang. We have every reason to believe that people-to-people exchanges will further increase our mutual understanding and friendship.    

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Indonesia is the largest country in ASEAN. In reaching out to our neighbors, China always sees ASEAN as a priority. China-ASEAN relationship has been leading cooperation in this region and become a model for Asia-Pacific cooperation. In November 2021, China and ASEAN held a Special Summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of our dialogue partnership, and inaugurate the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Over the past three decades, trade volume between China and ASEAN has increased by more than 100 times. The two sides have become each other’s largest trading partner. Over the last ten years, China has proposed more than 160 important cooperation initiatives on China-ASEAN leaders' meetings, and more than 99.5% of them have already been implemented.    

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of President Xi Jinping's proposal of building A Closer China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future. China and ASEAN will also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of China’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) .

China will provide full support to Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship this year. China unswervingly supports ASEAN unity and ASEAN Community building, supports ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, and adheres to true multilateralism and open regionalism.

China supports ASEAN's efforts to build a nuclear-free zone and is ready to be the first to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, for our common interests in regional security and stability. 

China will work with ASEAN countries for peace and stability in the South China Sea, fully and effectively implement the DOC, advance the consultation on COC, and create an upgraded version of regional maritime rules.

China is always ready to work more closely with ASEAN to advance the building of a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home for us together, and foster A Closer China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

That brings me to the end of my remarks. I hope that our discussions here today could be of some help in understanding China's perspective on today's world and China's approach towards the problems we are all faced with. In the same token, I would also like to draw upon your ideas and wisdom.

I appreciate your patience and would be happy to pick up some questions.

Thank you.