Indonesia Calls On China to Help Cool Middle East Tensions

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia urged China to use its influence to prevent an escalation of tensions in the Middle East, during a visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who traveled to the archipelago as Beijing aims to deepen diplomatic ties with Jakarta.

Most Read from Bloomberg

During a meeting with Wang on Thursday, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, stressed the importance of maintaining stability in the Middle East, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

“We have the same view regarding the importance of all parties exercising restraint and the importance of de-escalation,” said Marsudi at a briefing after the meeting. “I’m sure the People’s Republic of China will use its influence to prevent escalation.”

Wang is visiting Indonesia as part of a three-country tour through Southeast Asia and the Pacific which kicked off on Thursday. At a joint briefing, Wang and Marsudi said the Southeast Asian nation will cooperate with China on energy transition, food security and infrastructure.

As competition between the US and China intensifies in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has balanced its close economic and trade relationship with Beijing while rebuilding its security ties with Washington.

During his meeting with Wang, Jokowi said mutually beneficial economic activity between Indonesia and China is vital, while calling for more market access for his nation’s exports into the Chinese market. For his part, Wang said China is “willing to work” with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations amid heightening tensions in the South China Sea.

Wang’s visit comes weeks after President-elect Prabowo Subianto’s meeting with Xi Jinping in China where they agreed to boost “all-round strategic cooperation.”

The Chinese foreign minister will meet with Prabowo during his visit to Indonesia, Marsudi said, the latest meeting between Indonesia’s next leader and senior Chinese government officials.

--With assistance from Eddie Spence, Ben Westcott and Siuming Ho.

(Updates after meeting with President Widodo.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.