By General (ret) Wiranto, The Chairman of HANURA Party of Indonesia
Your excellencies Prominent leaders of the People's Republic of China, Your Excellency Mr. Sun Jiazheng, President of China-Southeast Asia People's High-Level Dialogue
Your Excellencies Prominent Leaders of Asean, and delegates of China-Southeast Asia People's High-Level Dialogue,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen
First of all, let me say thank you and high appreciation to his Excellency the committee chairman and His Excellency Ambassador to the People's Republic of China in Indonesia, that we are able to get together and see each other, in the China-Southeast Asia People's High-Level Dialogue, held in this beauty city.
It is indeed a great honor for me, to be invited to this important meeting, together with you, all respected people representing our own country within this region.
Together with my fellows, I was even feeling praised to be honored as mentioned by his Excellency the committee chairman, as a prominent political leader in Asia, and an old friend of Chinese people.
It is factual, ladies and gentlemen, that we Indonesian people have been very old friend of the people of China, since centuries ago. Historic of the heroic people of Indonesia is never fragrances without the performance of their Chinese colleagues. As one of the largest Muslim country, we believe that the preaching of Islam in Indonesia was initiated by our friends of China, too.
One of the most remarkable history begun in the Century fifteen, Admiral Cheng Ho, who was a Hui-Chinese court eunuch, mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia and Middle East, and East Africa.
The relationship between our two countries was inspired by the voyages of Admiral Cheng Ho, who visited Indonesia for seven times during his life. Firstly he visited Samudera Pasai and presented "Cakra Donya" a very large bell to the Sultan of Aceh. In 1415, Cheng Ho presented a ceramic inscribed Holy Quran ayat. Another day Wang Jinghong (his deputy) was dying and the fleet anchored at Simongan, Semarang and settled down there. Now, that a Chinese temple San Po Kong and the Great Mosque was built side by side to commemorate the symbol of collaboration between two countries. Even Cheng Ho visited the Kingdom of Majapahit during the reign of Wikrama wardhana.
There are more other interesting cooperation initiated by our prominent leaders of our countries – China and Asean.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Over the last fifteen years, the region has undergone tremendous changes in economic, geopolitical and socio-cultural. While other regions such as Europe and America are still struggling to overcome their economic crisis, the region led by China, experienced the highest growth in the world economy in recent years. We hope that the emergence of China as a global economic player could leverage the voice of concerns of the developing countries, including ASEAN, on the economic governance and international finance. We should be proud and thankful, that with the high potential of economic and human resources that we have, supported by political stability and security, the region has been a source of inspiration in building a typical world economic order which other could learn from.
ASEAN has a population of around five hundred and eighty million people, which forty percent are Indonesian population. While China has a population of one point thirty four billion people, which is the best force to drive economic growth.
We emphasize the importance of China -ASEAN cooperation that has been established since ten years ago, which have contributed significantly to be a more stable, prosperous, and highly competitive region. We hope the cooperation that has been established, can be more intensive, more productive, more qualified, and mutual benefit on both sides.
We're dealing now Ladies and gentlemen, with ever changing world. We are also dealing with an open society and thus critical with the entire world's information disclosure. The message brought by this fact, that the relationships at the regional level will not be able to stand upright and sustained in the absence of efforts to build awareness among the public on the relationship of the China - ASEAN.
That's why I pay attention, to the dialogue today, could open the door to further cooperation among NGO's and civil society that represents the power of people-to-people, in strengthening the China - ASEAN relationship. We're not building relationships elitist, but to build a strong long-term strength, involving the strength of the community.
Before I close this speech, may I introduce my party, that I with my colleagues prominent leaders in Indonesia, established in November 2006. This party called "The People Conscience Party". We believe that only the honest, wise and courageous leadership that could build the unity, togetherness, and sincerity, which have been practiced by our predecessors who fought for our national independence. The value is still relevant now, in order to achieve our national goal, and take part to maintain the stability and world peace all the time.
Again I do hope that this dialogue attended by representatives of NGOs, business leaders and the media as well as political leaders, former senior politicians and first ladies from Southeast Asian countries, will be greatly beneficial for all of the participants.
Congratulations and thank you ( terima kasih – Xie Xie)