أُطْلُبُوْا العِلْمَ وَلَوْ بِالصِّيْنِ
Utlubul ilma walau bissin –
NOT ONLY THE LANGUAGE,
BUT ALSO THE OPPORTUNITIES AND THE CHALLENGES
Hi! I am Lonita from Indonesia. I am an overseas employee of China International Water and Electric Corporation (hereinafter referred to as CWE), and I am currently working in Jakarta. For this good opportunity let me share you my experiences what we feel regarding the Chinese great influence to my country.
Our childhood memories of this generation was accompanied by Japan, from Japanese cartoons to Japanese appliances, and also Japanese motorcycles and Japanese cars, it seems Japanese products have appeared in every corners of our Indonesian’s life. Until the year of 2001, after a Taiwanese drama named 'Meteor Garden' became popular in Indonesia, I just begin interest in Chinese culture. However, as an Indonesian, we cannot deny that although the Chinese civilization had very profound impact to Indonesia in history, But during the period of Suharto’s Government, the Chinese culture was been totally banded for political reasons. But it is interesting to find that in our teachings of Islam there is a phrase that describes what the Prophet Muhammad once said:
أُطْلُبُوْا العِلْمَ وَلَوْ بِالصِّيْنِ
Utlubul ilma walau bissin –
Interpretation: Seek out the knowledge even reached to China
This means that before the formation of Islamic teachings, Chinese society has reached a very high level of civilization, has a wealth of knowledge and diversity of social civilization. The Prophets of this passage has influenced and prompted me to start learning Chinese, in order to better understand the profound Chinese culture.
Although Indonesia had already declared the Chinese New Year as a statutory state holiday in Indonesia by President Wahid in 1998 and opened up Chinese education, the Chinese culture was fully restore, but there still have some people who hold prejudice to China, even my family did not fully support me to learn Chinese at first, and for there were fewer schools in Jakarta where I could learn Chinese at that time, the beginning for seeking Chinese culture of me was not very smoothly. Before I entered university, I only learned some simple words from Chinese class in high school, while many people thought that Chinese language is very difficult to grasp, I insisted on continuing to practice Chinese by learning from Jakarta Confucius Institute while I still need to take my university course at same time. I also choose China as the research target for my bachelor degree thesis (major International Relations and International Economic).
I am glad to thank to my experiences at the Confucius Institute, after graduation I got the opportunity to continue my in-depth study of Chinese and Chinese culture. My dream came true. In the year of my study in China, I was most impressed by the spirit of Chinese people for seeking common points while reserving differences and this was the reason why I choose a Chinese company in Indonesia, and resolutely resigned from an Indonesian Telecommunication company after I worked at there for only one year. Because I learned from Chinese friends that, anyone shall have equal opportunities in Chinese company, but many local companies in Indonesia still cannot do like this.
Today, I have been working at CWE for more than two years and have seen and witnessed the changes that have taken place in recent years as a result of Chinese influence in Indonesia: we have Chinese-made buses on the road, Chinese goods and Chinese Language Schools are everywhere, Alibaba and Jingdong Group have already operated their local business in Indonesia. And China's infusion of large sums of money has also been poured into Lazada ( a marketplace model that allowed third-party retailers to sell their products through Lazada’s site with a business model of selling inventory to customers from its own warehouses), GO-JEK ( an Indonesian application transport company which provide one-stop convenience services include Transport, Instant Courier, Go-Food and shopping service for Indonesian).
As the largest trading partner of Indonesia, bilateral cooperation covers a wide range of scope “from the sky to the seas”, such as defense, maritime affairs, aerospace, science and technology and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and the two sides maintain sound communication and coordination on regional and International issues. The undergoing Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway jointly constructed by both countries has become a major early-harvest project of development strategy alignment between both sides as an evidence, the Chinese power companies successfully built a number of power stations, greatly reducing the city and factory power outages for the protection of Indonesia's national electricity demand and CWE has made great contributions to the development infrastructure sector. As a member of China's power industry, CWE is making great efforts to promote the implementation of hydropower projects to support and develop Indonesia.
For me, learning Chinese brings me not only to become a master in language and communication, but through this opportunity I could get to know China in-depth, and I would continually to consolidate the advantages to improve my own abilities in the future.
'One Belt One Road Initiative' of China has invited the attention of Indonesia to give a positive response to “make Indonesia as the Maritime world country”. As friendly maritime neighbors, high level exchanges between both countries are frequent, and President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo have held multiple meetings and telephone talks, reaching numerous important consensuses on strengthening the docking of development strategies of both countries and deepening practical cooperation in all fields from the extensive study of China’s successful development experiences.
For the Chinese enterprises, with the support of the two governments will usher in the best time of development in Indonesia, but also face problems and challenges, such as some Chinese enterprises to use non-compliance of Chinese workers. Some Chinese companies do not understand the local social and natural conditions lead to substandard product and project quality, damage to the overall image of Chinese enterprises; such as these issues are the key factors which shall determine the Chinese enterprises’ long-term fate in Indonesia.
Last but not least, China will also make important contributions to regional peace, development and prosperity. China is willing to continue strengthening practical cooperation with ASEAN countries, including Indonesia. I hope that Chinese enterprises could give a contribution in the future to be able to seize the chance of success，so as to effectively implement the initiative to support and develop China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership. 【Lonita 印尼代表处供稿】