04/18/2024, 19.06
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Wang Yi in Indonesia: common front on Palestine and new investments in the country

by Mathias Hariyadi

After President-elect Prabowo's visit to Beijing, China’s foreign minister travelled to Jakarta to discuss Chinese involvement in the infrastructure of Indonesia’s new capital Nusantara, a project that follows the building of a high-speed train between Jakarta and Bandung.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, have issued a joint statement in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza and for the full recognition of the State of Palestine by the United Nations.

The statement comes a few hours before the UN Security Council votes on a motion presented by Algeria calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine, which will most likely be vetoed by the United States.

The joint statement was issued as part of Wang Yi's week-long visit to Indonesia to boost bilateral relations. In fact, the Beijing-Jakarta axis plays a crucial role in China’s strategy in Southeast Asia.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Indonesian President-elect General Prabowo Subianto in Beijing, which was followed by a visit to Japan where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Putting aside international issues, the Chinese Foreign Minister's trip to Indonesia is centred primarily on Chinese investments in the region.

It comes after the Whoosh high-speed train came into service six months ago, connecting Jakarta to Bandung, West Java, as 30-minute trip. Built with China, it made Indonesia the only country in Southeast Asia to have such a rail link.

Now Indonesia is looking at this partnership to build Nusantara, its new capital in East Kalimantan, which will be officially inaugurated on 17 August.

During his meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi today, outgoing President Joko Widodo raised the issue.

Speaking to the press, Foreign Minister Retna, who accompanied the president, said that the “President encourages cooperation in development at IKN, including for modes of transportation.” IKN refers to Ibu Kota Nusantara, Capital City of Nusantara.

Extending the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project was also discussed. “It is necessary to accelerate the completion of the feasibility study for the extension of the route to Surabaya," Retno said.

The arrival of Chinese trains in Indonesia has also set in motion other high-speed rail projects.

A Brunei infrastructure company, Brunergy Utama, is developing an ambitious plan to launch one such projects, namely the Trans-Borneo Railways, a line running 1,620 kilometres across the island of Borneo from west to east, connecting Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, including Indonesia’s new capital Nusantara.


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