Interview: Bandung Conference to take on new meaning: China’s Ambassador to Indonesia

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JAKARTA, April 21 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping, upon the invitation of his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, will attend an Asian-African summit and activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.

In a written interview with Xinhua ahead of the anniversary, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xie Feng said countries in Asia and Africa should deepen practical cooperation on the basis of inheriting and carrying on Bandung Spirit, adding that the Chinese initiatives would inject new impetus into the cooperation between the two continents.

According to Xie, the mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation between developing economies, including the Asian and African countries, is an important part of China’s major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Xi’s upcoming visit to Indonesia for the Asian-African summit and activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference demonstrates China’s determination in promoting cooperation and common development of the countries in Asia and Africa, he added.

Six decades ago, pursuing peaceful co-existence and seeking common ground while reserving differences were the theme of the Bandung Spirit. Today, the spirit features common development and win-win cooperation.

Xie said Asian and African countries should keep up with the times and create a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation as its core values.

According to the ambassador, on economy, Asian and African countries should uphold common development, seek partnership on the basis of complementary advantages and maximize the benefits of all parties.

On politics, Asian and African countries should insist on equality and justice, increase the voice and representation of developing economies, and promote democratization, legalization and rationalization of international relations.

On culture, Asian and African countries should stick to the spirit of inclusion and mutual reference, respect the diversity of cultures and promote harmonious co-existence.

China’s Ambassador to Indonesia Xie Feng delivers a speech during a seminar of Asia-Africa cooperation in Jakarta, Indonesia. The seminar was held here on Friday as part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference. (Xinhua/He changshan)

On security, Asian and African countries should advocate the principle of common, cooperative, comprehensive and sustainable security to create a safe environment worldwide.

The Asian-African Conference this year is themed “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity.”

As the largest developing country in the world, China has always been a supporter, practitioner and leader of Asian-African cooperation, Xie said, adding that China has strengthened bilateral and regional dialogues and cooperation and deepened trade and investment ties with countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

China has played a significant role in poverty reduction in the developing world from Asia to Africa through infrastructure development, human resources development, tariff breaks and debt relief.

“The China-proposed ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiatives will provide opportunities to Asian-African nations and contribute to Asian-African cooperation,” Xie said.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and Indonesia.

“China-Indonesia relations have come through an extraordinary path and achieved historical progress over the 65 years. Leaders of both sides expect mutually beneficial cooperation and attach great attention to bilateral relations, which run at a high level, as top-level visits between the two countries are very frequent these years,” said Xie.

Indonesia has become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and has been communicating with China to promote institutionalized arrangements and concrete measures in such areas as infrastructure, investment and manufacturing capacity. It also wishes to push forward the construction of Maritime Silk Road and make some achievements as early as possible.

“China is willing to take the opportunity of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference to work alongside with Indonesia to align development strategies and deepen pragmatic cooperation to push forward China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership,” the ambassador said.

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