China and Indonesia agreed to boost infrastructure and maritime cooperation and strengthen “strategic coordination” in regional affairs as Beijing and Washington vie for influence in Southeast Asia . President Xi Jinping held talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday in Bali, where he also attended the G20 summit and met other world leaders – including US President Joe Biden – as part of his first overseas trip since last month’s Communist Party national congress . Before their meeting, the two leaders witnessed a trial run of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, a landmark project under the Belt and Road Initiative , China’s global infrastructure development strategy. The railway is expected to start operating commercially in June 2023. The two countries have enjoyed friendly ties over the past year. Widodo was the first foreign leader to visit Beijing after the Olympics in February, while Indonesia was the first foreign country Xi visited after securing a third term at the 20th party congress. “It demonstrates the important position of China-Indonesia relations in their respective foreign policies,” Xi said, adding that the two countries have set an example for developing countries to work together for mutual benefit. According to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry, Xi called for building “synergy” between the belt and road strategy and Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum, Jakarta’s plan to turn the country into a global maritime hub. Indonesia’s Jokowi caps busy week with Xi talks, urges cooling of tensions “We welcome more competitive products from Indonesia entering China. We will continue to encourage outstanding Chinese companies to participate in major infrastructure construction projects in Indonesia … and expand cooperation in the digital economy, green development and other areas,” Xi said. He called on the two sides to uphold “true multilateralism” and forge closer ties between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Indonesia will take over the rotating chairmanship of the 10-member bloc next year. China and the United States have increasingly competed for influence in Southeast Asia, which is central to Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy . Biden also met Widodo in Bali, and the US has strengthened its security ties with Indonesia in recent years through military drills. China is Indonesia’s biggest trade partner and a major source of foreign investment. In 2021, bilateral trade grew by 58.6 per cent from the previous year to US$124.4 billion, according to official Chinese data. Mainland China was the third-biggest foreign investor in Indonesia last year, after Singapore and Hong Kong. South China Sea talks harder in more ‘complicated’ situation, think tank says However, the two countries have overlapping interests in the South China Sea, and Indonesia has expressed concerns about Chinese encroachment on its exclusive economic zone in the disputed waters. In a 15-point joint statement released after the talks, the two sides agreed to work together in fields such as marine scientific research and environmental protection, navigation safety, disaster prevention and mitigation, maritime capacity building and fisheries, it said. The two sides also formulated a plan for cooperation in all areas for the next five years and agreed to “strengthen strategic coordination in regional and multilateral affairs”, the statement said. They signed a series of other cooperation documents on the digital economy, education, vocational training, agriculture, health, medicinal plants, media, infrastructure financing and Indonesian banana imports.