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China wins Indonesian railway project

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

10-23-2015 11:09 BJT

By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau

China Railways International Co Ltd and a consortium of Indonesian state-owned companies signed on Oct. 16, an agreement to form a joint venture for the construction and operations of a railways line from Jakarta to Bandung.

It marked the Chinese companies' first official win for an Indonesian railway project, and a historic breakthrough for Chinese high speed railways to go abroad.

Why did China compete for Indonesian high-speed rail project?

As the largest economic entity in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is China's most important partner to implement its "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" strategy. China and Indonesia intend to build the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway to deepen relations between China and Southeast Asian countries.

The project would provide more job opportunities and travel convenience for Indonesians, which can ease traffic congestion, while promoting the country’s social and economic development.  Beijing has adopted the high-speed rail as a vital export industry, which is expected to be  a drive for other high-tech sectors to develop as well.

China wins the project, overcoming Japan 

In recent years, Singapore, India, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries all have made plans to build high-speed railways. China and Japan both hold proprietary intellectual property rights,  hence the rivalry  for more orders is fierce.

During the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Forum in Beijing in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Indonesian President Joko Widodo to discuss infrastructure construction. Joko Widodo had taken China's bullet train from Beijing to Tianjin and praised Chinese technology.

In March 2015, Widodo visited China and signed the China-Indonesia Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project. Xu Shaoshi, President Xi's special envoy and head of the National Development and Reform Commission, visited Indonesia in August to submit a feasibility study report on the rail project.

Japan also made efforts to win the project. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believed that the first Indonesian high-speed railway would have much political significance.

In 2011, Japan spent 15 million US dollars on a feasibility study and had submitted a construction plan last July. However, Tokyo's program didn't conform with Jakarta's requirement for a "no use of national budget or guarantee." 

China's first overseas high-speed railway order

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project will be constructed and managed by Chinese and Indonesian companies. This project is an important innovation of the domestic and international markets for China.

More than 20 countries including UK, Russia, United States, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Thailand all had sought to build high-speed railways with a total distance of 20,000 kilometers and an investment at over 800 billion US dollars.

Hopefully, Chinese high-speed railway technology can go abroad by virtue of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project and enjoy worldwide success.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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