Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Wen Jiabao's Official Visit to Malaysia and Indonesia

Premier Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Malaysia and Indonesia from April 27 to 30, 2011. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) held a briefing on the visit for Chinese and foreign media on April 21. Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue and Deputy Director of the Asian Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce Song Yaoming introduced the background, main activities and significance of Wen's visit and answered questions of journalists. Tian Qi, Vice Director-General of the Information Department of the MFA chaired the briefing in which nearly 100 Chinese and foreign journalists participated.

I. Official Visit to Malaysia

Hu said that China and Malaysia are close friendly neighbors. The two countries attach great importance to developing the bilateral relations and are dedicated to expanding the mutually beneficial cooperation and promoting common development. They established strategic partnership in 2004. With the concerted efforts of both sides, the bilateral ties enjoy a sound momentum of development. The two countries maintain frequent exchanges of high-level visits. Their national leaders regularly exchange in-depth views on the bilateral relations and issues of common concern. The bilateral trade and economic cooperation is fruitful. Since 2008, Malaysia has been China's largest trade partner among ASEAN members in three years consecutively and China has been Malaysia's largest trade partner for two years. In 2010, the bilateral trade volume reached US$74.2 billion, up by 42.8%. The two countries maintain wide and deep exchanges in the fields of culture and tourism. They are the major origin of tourists to each other. Every year, personnel exchanges between the two countries exceed 2 million person-times and there are 16,000 Chinese and Malaysian students studying in Malaysia and China respectively. The two countries also hold similar stances and keep sound coordination and cooperation on coping with the international financial crisis and climate change and boosting East Asian cooperation.

He noted that Wen paid his last visit to Malaysia six years ago and therefore the upcoming one would be a major event in the history of China-Malaysia relations. Wen will hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, attend China-Malaysia Economic Cooperation Forum, meet with former Malaysian Prime Ministers Mahathir and Badawi respectively and contact the friendly Malaysian people from all walks of life. Leaders of both countries will conduct in-depth discussions on pushing forward the bilateral relations by carrying forward the traditional friendship, consolidating strategic mutual trust and gathering consensus politically; complementing each other with advantages, expanding trade cooperation, enhancing mutual investment and advancing cooperation on infrastructure construction, finance, science and technology in the economic sectors; encouraging personnel exchanges at all levels and in all fields, strengthening exchanges between youth of both countries, increasing mutual understanding and carrying forward the traditional friendship from the cultural perspective; intensifying coordination and communications in both regional and international affairs and making contributions to maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting common development. The two sides are communicating and coordinating on a series of cooperation documents at the government, sector and enterprise levels to be signed during the visit. It is believed that with the joint efforts of both sides Wen's visit will achieve positive and significant outcomes.

Song introduced China-Malaysia trade and economic relations. He said that the bilateral trade volume in 2008 achieved the target of US$50 billion set by leaders of both countries two years in advance and hit another historical high in 2010. Malaysia has become China's largest trade partner among ASEAN members and 9th biggest trade partner worldwide. China at present is Malaysia's largest export market of palm oil and natural rubber. More and more Chinese enterprises are investing in Malaysia. By the end of 2010, the actual mutual investment between China and Malaysia has exceeded US$6 billion. The bilateral cooperation on infrastructure construction has shown initial results and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, tourism and resources development goes deeper.

II. Official Visit to Indonesia

Hu said that China and Indonesia are both major developing countries in the region and face the same task of promoting economic and social development. The two countries established strategic partnership in 2005. The bilateral relations have developed rapidly and healthily in recent years. The two sides maintain frequent high-level mutual visits and enjoy fruitful pragmatic cooperation in all fields. In 2010, the bilateral trade volume reached US$42.75 billion, a year-on-year increase of 50.6%. The two sides have frequent personnel contacts and sound cooperation at regional and international levels. Indonesia holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN this year. The two countries are making efforts together to further boost China-ASEAN relations and East Asian cooperation.

He pointed out that it is the first official visit of Wen to Indonesia and the last visit paid by a Chinese premier to Indonesia was 10 years ago. Wen will hold talks with Indonesian President Susilo, attend China-Indonesia Business Strategic Dialogue and deliver an important policy speech to the Indonesian side. The two countries both expect to lift China-Indonesia strategic partnership to a new level through the visit. Leaders of both sides will exchange in-depth views on the following five aspects: first, maintaining regular high-level communications and enhancing strategic cooperation; second, broadening trade and economic investment cooperation and complementing each other with advantages; third, strengthening defense and marine cooperation to achieve win-win outcomes; fourth, deepening cultural and educational cooperation and consolidating the social foundation for China-Indonesia friendship; fifth, increasing coordination and collaboration on regional and international issues and maintaining common interest. The two sides are holding close consultations on issuing the joint communiqué and signing a series of cooperation documents. With concerted efforts, Wen's visit will achieve fruitful results and inject vigor into China-Indonesia strategic partnership.

Song said that China-Indonesia trade and economic relations grow steadily with ever expanding cooperation scope and rising cooperation level. The bilateral trade volume achieved in 2008 the target of US$30 billion set by leaders of both countries two years in advance and grew significantly in 2010. The bilateral cooperation on infrastructure construction moves forward effectively. China has offered Indonesia certain amount of preferential export buyer's credit. Chinese enterprises' direct investment in Indonesia increases rapidly. In 2010, China's non-financial actual investment in Indonesia increased by US$290 million, making Indonesia a major destination of Chinese enterprises' offshore investment.

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