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Home » Indonesia Meets Russia and China in Trilateral Meeting; Urges for Collaboration

Indonesia Meets Russia and China in Trilateral Meeting; Urges for Collaboration

by Dmitry Lobzhanidze
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Indonesia held two separate trilateral meetings with China and Russia and with Australia and India in between a series of ASEAN ministerial meetings. During the meetings, Indonesia emphasized the need for collaboration to face the looming contention between the world’s great power countries concerning several regional issues.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi received China’s Director of China Communist Party Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Pancasila Building, Foreign Ministry Office, Jakarta on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. Minister Retno, in her remarks, said that as the ASEAN Chair, “Indonesia is always open to engage and discuss with our partners with the hope that we can contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity around the world.”

Minister Retno did not explain further in detail the discussion the three countries had in the trilateral meeting. She mentioned, however, Indonesia and China discuss the agreement concerning the guideline to accelerate the consultation process for China’s action in the South China Sea between ASEAN and Beijing and economic issues for Indonesia. Meanwhile, Indonesia and Russia discuss several issues including food and energy resilience.

Indonesia will also hold a bilateral meeting with US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken. In the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum, Minister Blinken and Minister Lavrov will remeet after their brief meeting in March, in the middle of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Staff for East Asia Daniel Kritenbrik said on July 7, 2023, that Blinken will squab China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea. 

China expressed its support for ASEAN unity and stressed its commitment to resolving sensitive issues with countries in the region, said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs while announcing Wang Yi’s travel as Minister Qin Gang’s substitute. Meanwhile, as quoted by TASS, Lavrov noted that ASEAN is “the best basis” for discussing regional issues and thanked his Indonesian counterpart for the opportunity for contact in the Russia-Indonesia-China format. Moscow and Beijing have previously declared that unlimited partnership ahead of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Retno admitted Indonesia also discussed the regional situation and opportunity to open a dialogue with Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong and India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in their trilateral meeting. 

In the ASEAN meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, the region’s foreign ministers discussed Myanmar, regional human rights institutions, and commitment to the nuclear-free-zone treaty. While not explicitly discussed AUKUS, previously, Indonesia has expressed regrets about the consequence of the trilateral security partnership between AUKUS – Australia, the UK, and the US. The partnership may allow Australia to develop nuclear submarines to support its marine forces. In the foreign ministers’ meeting inauguration, Minister Retno stressed that ASEAN has to be in the driver’s seat in facing present and future geopolitics challenges.

Source : Tempo

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