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Indonesia to back Taiwan's inclusion into the RCEP bloc

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Indonesia, a pivotal member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) yesterday stated that the nation will support Taiwan's accession bid to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Achmad Kurniadi, deputy chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board yesterday stated in an interview that he intends to back Taiwan's accession bid to the RCEP in an effort to further bolster trade and economic ties with Taiwan along with other ASEAN member states.

Kurniadi, however, stated that Indonesia's support is purely motivated by mutual economic benefit and emphasized that efforts toward the establishment of regional free trade pacts should not be muddled by ongoing political issues.

Kurniadi stated that Indonesia-Taiwan relations have always maintained a high level of amiableness and that no matter the outcome in Taiwan's pursuit of regional trade pacts, Indonesia will not forgo any collaborative and partnership opportunities with Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research (CIER, 中經院) yesterday explained that contrary to a common misconception, the RCEP is not China's answer to the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership. Instead, Indonesia is likely the most pivotal voice among ASEAN states, as China, Vietnam and the Philippines are still embroiled in maritime territorial disputes, according to the CIER.

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