Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed his belief that relations between ASEAN countries and China could generate real cooperation if they rely on mutual trust in each other.

"This concrete trust and cooperation can be a positive force for regional stability and peace," the president said while opening the 23rd ASEAN-China Summit in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The 23rd ASEAN-China Summit is part of a series of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta held on September 5-7, 2023. The summit is attended by 19 state leaders, including friendly countries and international organizations.

According to Jokowi, China has been ASEAN's dialogue partner since 1996. In 2021, ASEAN and China elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The president emphasized that this relationship should be interpreted by realizing concrete cooperation that is mutually beneficial.

He made the statement amid escalating tensions between China and several ASEAN member countries over the South China Sea.

On August 28, China released the 2023 Edition of the China Standard Map that was considered by several parties as a tool of its intention to claim these waters.

In this matter, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines rejected China's new map.

Indonesia, as the Chair of ASEAN in 2023, took the initiative to expedite the process of negotiating the code of conduct (CoC) in the disputed South China Sea.

The accelerated guidelines were adopted at a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers and Chairman of the Chinese Foreign Policy Council Wang Yi in Jakarta on July 13 and are planned to be ratified by leaders at the ASEAN-China Summit.

Apart from the CoC negotiations, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry has stated that Indonesia will continue to encourage increased practical maritime cooperation between the ASEAN and China in a bid to increase mutual trust and maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Resinta S
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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