President Hu Jintao and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a joint statement in Jakarta on Monday proclaiming the two to be strategic partners.
"China and Indonesia are friendly neighbors, and we will work together to seek opportunities to deepen strategic relations, and for a rational and just new political and economic order in the world," Hu said.
Hu, on a continued state visit after attending the Asian-African Summit and 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, said the statement marked a new stage in the two countries' relationship and will exert an important influence on China-ASEAN ties.
Susilo accepted Hu's invitation to visit China in the latter half of the year and the two agreed to establish a vice-premier level dialogue mechanism to enhance strategic consultation.
They also agreed to expand economic cooperation and trade, aiming to increase annual trade volume to US$20 billion within three years. It was US$13.48 billion last year, up 31 percent on the year before. China and
Indonesia have also cooperated on a number of major projects involving energy and infrastructure construction.
Hu said they would enhance cooperation on building infrastructure, energy, agriculture, fishing and development of natural resources.
China will provide 30 million yuan (US$3.63 million) of assistance to Indonesia, and another US$300 million in preferential loans for construction of infrastructure and reconstruction of disaster-hit areas. China had previously pledged US$400 million in preferential loans.
In addition, China is providing US$20 million worth of assistance, in money and goods, for disaster-relief in earthquake-hit areas. Part of this was delivered on Hu's plane.
Shortly after the strong earthquake last month, China announced US$500,000 in assistance for disaster relief.
Susilo described Hu's visit as a "milestone" in bilateral relations that has encouraged Asian-African cooperation and had a positive impact on regional peace and cooperation.
China and Indonesia signed eight other documents on the same day, covering visa exemption, maritime cooperation, infrastructure building and natural resource development, cooperation on earthquake and tsunami research, in treasury, between Red Cross societies and agreements on preferential loans.
They also agreed that China will establish a consulate-general in Surabaya, on the Indonesian island of Java, and Indonesia a consulate-general in Shanghai.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2005)