Luhut Rebuts Issues that Indonesia Is Controlled by China

5 August 2022 20:00 WIB

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan urges the China-Indonesia High-speed Railway (KCIC) to expedite the project construction during his visit to the project site of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway (KCJB) track in the Padalarang Station area, West Bandung regency, Monday, April 12, 2021. TEMPO/Prima Mulia

TEMPO.CO, JakartaCoordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan denied issues that Indonesia was controlled by China. He asserted that Indonesia is not too dependent on China now given the declining trade deficit every year.

A trade deficit is a situation in which a country’s import value from other countries exceeds its export value to other countries over a certain period of time.

“How can people say that China controls us? Our trade deficit with China used to reach 27 billion dollars, then it declined to 17 billion dollars,” said Luhut at the National Gathering of the Indonesian Retired Army Association (PPAD) on Friday, August 5, 2022.

He outlined that in 2021, the trade deficit was around 2 billion dollars. This year, as of the previous quarter, there was a surplus of 500 million dollars. Luhut estimated that Indonesia may record a surplus of more than 1 billion dollars this year.

“So I am sometimes confused when someone says that we are controlled by China. Does the person who says this know about numbers? I'm a soldier, but because I'm briefed every day by the young people in the office, I understand these numbers. We are on the right track,” Luhut remarked.

Indonesia, he went on, could be in this current condition because President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made the right order. Luhut further claimed that Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who is Jokowi's former rival in the presidential election, acknowledged the merit of the President.

“General Prabowo told me repeatedly, ‘I didn't agree with these things but after he (Jokowi) explained them to me, I took my hat off to President Jokowi’,” said Luhut, imitating Prabowo's words.

M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH 

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