Li's visit to Japan and Indonesia to build on progress

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Jakarta yesterday, the first stop on his first overseas trip since the new Cabinet took office in March. Tomorrow he sets off for Japan.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Jakarta yesterday, the first stop on his first overseas trip since the new Cabinet took office in March. Tomorrow he sets off for Japan.

Li’s visit to Indonesia comes as this year marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership and the 15th anniversary of the strategic partnership between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Indonesia in 2013, the two countries have been promoting the synergy of their development strategies, yielding fruitful results in their cooperation in various fields, Li said on his arrival in Jakarta.

“My visit is aimed at cementing mutual political trust, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation and enhancing the friendship of our peoples. I expect joint efforts of both sides to promote the bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields,” Li said.

China and the 10-member ASEAN should work together to build a community of shared future with neighboring countries and promote regional peace and development, he added.

During his visit, Li will hold talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and attend a China-Indonesia business summit.

China has been Indonesia’s largest trading partner for seven years in a row. In 2017, two-way trade reached US$63.3 billion, up 18 percent from 2016.

Li will leave for Japan tomorrow to attend the 7th China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting.

Li’s visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, is of great significance to bilateral relations as well as regional cooperation and prosperity, according to Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua.

The China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting, a trilateral mechanism, is being resumed after two and a half years. The trip, said the ambassador, is expected to further consolidate the warming-up trend in China-Japan ties and enhance China-Japan-South Korea cooperation.

The China-Japan relationship went through twists and turns in the opening years of this decade, which damaged the political mutual trust and practical interests of the two countries, Cheng recalled.

In November 2014, the two sides reached a four-point agreement that reaffirmed the principles for them to properly handle historical, territorial and other issues, and bilateral ties began to improve, noted the ambassador.

The momentum, Cheng pointed out, has further increased since President Xi met in May 2017 in Beijing with Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, who led the Japanese delegation to the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Cheng said the two neighbors are highly complementary in economy and closely connected in culture.

Both positive and negative historical experiences have proved that China and Japan should stick to peace, friendship and cooperation, which is not only the sole correct choice for the two sides, but also the common aspiration of the international community, especially the Asian countries, he said.

Last year, bilateral trade returned to above the US$300 billion level and personnel exchanges increased to a record high of 10 million, noted the ambassador.

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