|Qin Gang and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi Speak out for ASEAN's Strategic Independence Together|
On February 22, 2023 local time, Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi jointly met the press in Jakarta after they co-chaired the 4th meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between China and Indonesia.
Retno said Indonesia is firmly committed to regional peace, stability and prosperity, and holds that ASEAN should not become a proxy of any external force or fall into the whirlpool of major country competition. Indonesia will fulfill its rotating chairmanship of ASEAN, continue to strengthen cooperation with China, and give full play to ASEAN's unique advantages and its role as an economic growth center to contribute to the global post-pandemic recovery.
Qin Gang stressed that China has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, and fully supports Indonesia's role as the rotating chair in building an ASEAN growth center and promoting the post-pandemic recovery in the region. A new Cold War or major country competition should not emerge in the Asia-Pacific, and regional countries should not be forced to take sides. Qin Gang expressed the belief that ASEAN countries including Indonesia will independently make their own judgment and choice based on the fundamental interests of regional peace, stability and development. China supports ASEAN's strategic independence, unity and strength, upholds ASEAN centrality and its inclusive regional architecture, and opposes bloc politics and camp confrontation.