President Jokowi Calls for China-ASEAN Partnership to Achieve Common Goals
Date 12 November 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for enhanced cooperation between ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China to achieve more progress ahead of three decades of partnership between the two parties next year.
According to the President, the cooperation is expected to push countries in the region to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the economy.
In his remarks at the 23rd ASEAN-the People’s Republic of China Summit held virtually from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Thursday (12/11), the President raised three points, as follows:
First, transformation of digital-based economic cooperation. According to the President, economic transformation from conventional methods to a digital-based economy is a must at this time.
The pandemic hit at least 215 countries worldwide has major impacts; yet, amid these conditions, he said, there are opportunities for making progress, especially in terms of developing a digital-based economy.
The Head of State also expressed hope that economic and health issues can go hand in hand and economic activities can adapt by still adhering to health protocols.
The President also expressed belief that ASEAN is capable of carrying out this economic transformation through digital cooperation with its partners.
“2020 is the year of ASEAN-the People’s Republic of China digital economy cooperation. As the global leader of the digital economy and home to one-third of the world’s unicorns, including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, China is a strategic partner for ASEAN,” he said.
ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, he continued, must also immediately reactivate economic cooperation, among others through harmonizing policies, and ensuring global supply chains by removing trade barriers.
Second, fulfillment of the availability of vaccines and medicines in the region. The President pointed out that health is an important aspect to drive the economy.
Therefore, availability of medicines and vaccines in the region amid the current pandemic is one of the important factors that must be achieved so that each country can rebuild its economy, he added.
“I appreciate the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to participate in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility and make vaccines as global public goods. We must join hands to meet the needs of COVID-19 medicines and vaccines in the region,” he said.
Third, stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region, including escalating rivalries and tensions in the South China Sea. The President expressed concern that if this continues to prevail, it will impact recovery process due to the pandemic in the region.
“All of us, without exception, bear the responsibility to maintain peace and stability in South China Sea,” he said. (BPMI / UN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas