BEIJING (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo formally invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to the G20 summit in Bali this fall on Tuesday, though it’s unclear whether he will attend in person.
The invitation came during a meeting in Beijing where the pair discussed issues ranging from trade to maritime cooperation.
“President Xi expressed his thanks and wished success at the summit,” Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said, without giving further details. The summit is due to be held on the Indonesian resort island on November 15-16.
Xi has not left China since January 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, opting instead to attend major events via video. It is also unclear whether he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bangkok shortly after the G-20 summit.
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The G-20 is seen as a valuable group for China as it includes not only wealthy Western countries but also the voices of major middle-income countries such as China, India and Brazil.
State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have acted as proxies for Xi in recent years, even as China’s foreign and economic policies, including its tacit support for Russia in the Ukrainian conflict, have put its relations with the United States, Europe and other countries under severe strain.
Indonesia and China enjoy generally positive relations, although Jakarta has expressed concern about Chinese encroachment on its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.
Widodo arrived in Beijing on Monday evening on the first leg of a trip that will also take him to Japan and South Korea later this week. A statement from Widodo’s office said he described China as Indonesia’s “comprehensive strategic partner”.
“We must fill this partnership with cooperation that is beneficial for our country, and at the same time for the region and the world,” Widodo said in the statement.
CCTV said the two leaders discussed cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and pledged to boost trade and investment.
A delayed project to build a high-speed rail line between Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and the city of Bandung will be completed as planned and other flagship projects will be launched, he said.
They also agreed to expedite the formulation of a new “five-year action plan” for the relationship that “would better enhance the well-being of the two peoples and demonstrate greater responsibility for the maintenance of peace and stability. regions and the safeguarding of global equity and justice”. “, said CCTV.
On maritime issues, he said the parties agreed to strengthen communication and engage in fisheries cooperation to “harness the potential of the marine economy”.
The Indonesian president is one of the few foreign leaders to visit China, which has strictly limited foreign visitors due to the pandemic.
This story corrects the year Xi last left China.
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