Indonesia's President-elect Prabowo Visits China For Three Days

Communication Author: EqualOcean News, ChenZhiheng Apr 01, 2024 02:08 PM (GMT+8)

Indonesian President-elect Prabowo arrived in Beijing on March 31st to begin a three-day visit to China. Prabowo was officially elected 11 days ago, China is Prabowo's first foreign visit after the election.

Analysis pointed out that China invited the president-elect to visit China in the past is not rare, special diplomatic arrangements reflect the high level of China-Indonesia relations. The visit will help the two countries build consensus on future cooperation in the medium and long term and will inject more certainty into bilateral relations.

Prabowo's visit is in the context of Indonesia's power transition. Indonesia's incumbent President Joko will end his second term as president this year and will not be eligible for re-election. In February's general election in Indonesia, Prabowo and Joko's eldest son, the mayor of Solo City, Jibran partner to a large advantage ahead of the other candidate's combination, when the preliminary counting of votes show that the two are locked in the victory. Analysts say Prabowo's victory was largely due to Joko's support. Prabowo also reiterated his determination to continue the "Joko line".

On March 20, Indonesia's Election Commission announced the final vote count, officially confirming the election of Prabowo and Jibran as the next president and vice president. The inauguration ceremony will be held on October 20 this year, and on March 29, China's foreign ministry announced that Prabowo would visit China from March 31 to April 2 at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. Outsiders noted that the announcement came just nine days after Prabowo was officially elected.

"The fact that Mr. Prabowo has made China his first visit to the country after being elected president fully reflects the high level of China-Indonesia relations." China's Foreign Ministry said. Analysts summarized the characteristics of Prabowo's visit to China as "special in form and rich in connotation". Secondly, "before taking office that visit to China", also shows that Prabowo intends to inherit and continue the general direction of Joko's diplomacy with China. In the transition of power, Prabowo's personal visit to China helps him form his own impression and judgment on Chinese affairs. 

Prabowo's visit is also in the context of the China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, which has maintained strong momentum. Politically, the two countries maintain close contact. In the second half of last year, Joko visited China twice in three months, once to attend the Chengdu Universiade in late July last year, and once to attend the "Belt and Road" International Cooperation Summit Forum in Beijing in October last year. After Prabowo's election victory in February, China's ambassador to Indonesia, Lu Kang, went to Prabowo's home in South Jakarta to congratulate him in person. Prabowo, a "social media maven", immediately thanked him in Chinese on Facebook and showed a photo of the two of them with Prabowo's pet cat, Bobby.

After Prabowo was officially elected in March, President Xi called him to congratulate him. President Xi said the development of China-Indonesia relations has entered the fast lane, and he looks forward to working with Prabowo to lead the construction of the two countries' community of destiny to achieve greater results. Economically, China has been Indonesia's largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years and has become the second-largest source of foreign investment. With the support of the "Digital Silk Road", cooperation between the two countries in emerging industries continues to flourish. Last year, the Yavan High-Speed Railway officially opened for operation, and has become the flagship project and "golden signboard" of the "One Belt, One Road" jointly built by China and Indonesia. ......

In terms of the potential for future cooperation between China and Indonesia, the construction of Indonesia's new capital, the development of the North Kalimantan Industrial Park, the establishment of the "2+2" dialogue mechanism between the foreign and defense ministers of China and Indonesia, and Indonesia's study of the possibility of joining the BRICS countries are all issues that deserve attention. At the same time, Prabowo's policy path toward China after taking power is still worth observing, and the implementation and expansion of China-Indonesia cooperation projects also need to pay attention to the scale and balance. It should be a long, smooth and gradual process to avoid overly high psychological expectations.