Business communities have played a very crucial role in promoting mutually beneficial relations between Indonesia and China over the last two decades, according to a book launched in Jakarta Wednesday.
The book, entitled Dinamika Hubungan Indonesia-Tiongkok di Era Kebangkitan Asia (the Dynamics of Indonesia-China Relations in the Emerging Asia), provides readers plenty of historical facts on the ups and downs of Indonesia-China relations.
The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1950 but were then frozen in 1967-1990. In early 1980s, when diplomatic ties were suspended and only indirect trade existed between the two countries, entrepreneurs from both countries stepped in to struggle for direct trade.
On July 5, 1985, representatives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and of Chinese business communities signed a landmark agreement on direct bilateral trade.
The direct trade agreement initiated by business communities "gave a momentum for both countries to fully resume diplomatic ties on August 8, 1990," said Sukamdani Sahid Gitosardjono, the author of the book.
Sukamdani, 78, was the Kadin chairman when the signing took place.
"The book describes very clearly the dynamics of Indonesia-China relations, which are very unique. Businesspeople and historians need to read it," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in his welcoming remarks in the 223-page book.
Sukamdani, who himself played a major role in the resumption of direct trade relations, "is a long-time friend of China as well as a champion for China-Indonesia friendly relations and cooperation," Chinese Ambassador Lan Lijun said of the author.
(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2006)