Rector of the University, Professor Muhammad Anis, said in Depok on Wednesday that the election of the University of Indonesia as the venue of the race`s finishing point showed the commitment of the ASEAN towards education.
"The main objective of this rally tour is to introduce ASEAN and Chinese culture through an experience rather than just a theory. There is a big theme of education here, and so the University of Indonesia, as one of the largest educational institutions in ASEAN, is trusted to be the right place for the finish line," he noted.
A convoy of 25 participating cars crossed the finish line in the Rotunda area and was greeted by the Rector himself, along with Dean of the Faculty of Social & Political Sciences, Dr Arie Soesilo; Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, AKP Mochtan; and Charge d`Affaires of the Chinese Envoy to ASEAN, Jiang Qin.
The participants of the car rally tour are journalists from China and a number of ASEAN member countries, including Indonesia. The participants began their journey in Hepu, which is city that had became the centre for port and trade in the southern part of China, Guangxi province, and then continued their journey through other ASEAN countries.
Initiated in 2016, the CAITA Rally was first coined by ASEAN`s Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan. In its 11th operation, participants explored more than 10 thousand kilometers of traveling between areas, including Hanoi, Vientiane, Bangkok, Yangon, Siam Reap, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan, and Manila, before finally reaching Indonesia.
For the first time, the CAITA route covers the 10 ASEAN countries, making this rally one of the longest rallies ever held in the region.
Meanwhile, Mochtan noted that the purpose of organizing this rally tour is to build friendship and mutual understanding among ASEAN countries, as well as between ASEAN and China.
"The sea, mountains, and borders do not stand in the way of materializing this friendship, and CAITA Rally has proved it," Mochtan remarked in his speech.
This year`s implementation is rather special, as 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN. At the same time, it commemorates the year of China-ASEAN tourism cooperation, he revealed.
Reported by Feru Lantara
EDITED BY INE