Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In future, China will provide free visa to Indonesian citizens planning to visit the country, Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Liu Jianchao stated.

"Indonesia has provided Chinese citizens with visa on arrival facility. We have not yet done it, but, in the future, we will provide free visa to the Indonesian citizens," the Chinese ambassador noted here on Thursday.

The Chinese ambassador made the announcement when he bid farewell to Vice President Boediono following the completion of his three-year assignment in Indonesia.

In the future, claimed Jianchao, more Chinese investors will come to Indonesia. He is of the view that the number of Chinese citizens visiting Indonesia will continue to increase. The ambassador was optimistic that the number of Chinese tourists to Indonesia will also increase in the future.

"About 750 thousand Chinese tourists visited Indonesia, and about 150 thousand Chinese businessmen visited Indonesia for business purposes," Jianchao pointed out.

On the occasion, the vice president appreciated Jiachao for his work during his assignment as the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia.

"The relations between the two countries have continued to increase over the past several years, particularly in the trade and industrial sectors. The relations between the citizens of the two countries are also increasing," the vice president emphasized.

The vice president also inquired about Jianchaos successor, who will be the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia. The Chinese ambassadors successor would be a senior diplomat.

"At present, he is assuming the post of directorate general for North America, Canada, and Australia," Jianchao remarked.

Jianchao explained that he will be assigned as an assistant to the Chinese foreign minister for diplomatic policies after his assignment in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations when they recently met in Montreux, Switzerland, Xinhua reported last month.

During the meeting with Marty Natalegawa on the sidelines of the Geneva II Conference on Syria, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recalled Chinese President Xi Jinpings October visit to Indonesia, during which the two sides agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership and charted out the future course of increasing bilateral ties.

Wang stated that this year marks the initiation of efforts to build that partnership, and the two countries need to achieve more gains through pragmatic cooperation in all fields.

Calling regional cooperation a key part of the China-Indonesia partnership, he noted that China is ready to work with Indonesia in order to advance its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and intends to focus on five priority areas this year.

The five priorities are: advancing work towards the signing of the China-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation Treaty; successfully holding China-ASEAN Year of Cultural Exchange; initiating negotiations related to updating the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area; making preparations for creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; and effectively using the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund to build "the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century."

China always gives top priority to its ties with the ASEAN and that relationship is enjoying sound growth, Wang claimed, adding that it is important to prevent certain negative factors from affecting the overall two-way ties.

For his part, Marty added that Indonesia has close relations with China and views Chinas active participation in intra-ASEAN cooperation with appreciation and gratitude.

He emphasized that Indonesia is willing to communicate closely with China and take practical steps to boost bilateral relations, promote China-ASEAN cooperation, and safeguard regional peace and stability.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Syrian crisis, among other issues, Xinhua reported.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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