This is a very good sign for China. Its significance cannot be overlooked.”
President Xi Jinping joined Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday in Jakarta for the signing of a high-speed rail construction project that will link the 160 kilometers between the capital city of Jakarta and Bandung, the nation’s third-largest city.
Indonesia developed a rail plan to construct 860 kilometers of high-speed rail connecting the major cities of Jakarta, Bandung, Cirebon and Surabaja, but had made limited progress due to technological and financial concerns.
Details of China’s involvement in the project have yet to be released, but the two presidents witnessed the signing of a framework cooperation arrangement between China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Indonesia’s Ministry of StateOwned Enterprises.
The Jakarta-Bandung line, roughly the same distance as between Beijing and Tianjin, is the first phase of the national project.
“This is a very good sign for China. Its significance cannot be overlooked,” said Chen Fengying, a researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
“China has been promoting high-speed rail as a business card to the world, and the new line in Indonesia, along with those in Thailand and Russia, can be a real example.”
Before Widodo took office, Japan offered last year to participate in the project by providing technology and