xi's moments
Home | Op-Ed Contributors

High-speed railway accelerates China-Indonesia cooperation

By Lu Kang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-07 16:50

This aerial photo taken on June 22, 2023 shows a comprehensive inspection train running along the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway in Bandung, Indonesia. [Photo/Xinhua]

The high-speed railway from Indonesia's capital of Jakarta to the tourist city of Bandung is not just Indonesia's but also Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway. It also marks China's high-speed railway venturing into the international market, commonly referred to as its "first overseas project". This project has consistently garnered widespread attention and high expectations.

Under the personal care and guidance of President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is completed successfully and starts operational from Sept 7. This momentous occasion coincides with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Indonesia and the "first year" of building a community of shared future between the two countries. It carries significant historical significance.

At 350 kilometers per hour — a speed achieved during comprehensive testing and trial operation — the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is among the world's fastest commercially operating high-speed rail.

Once operational, this high-speed railway will bring numerous tangible benefits to the Indonesian people. The immediate advantage is undoubtedly the convenience and speed it will inject into travel in Indonesia. Previously, the journey from Jakarta to Bandung took 3.5 hours by car, but with the high-speed railway, it will be reduced to just 40 minutes, greatly facilitating the movement of people and goods between these two cities.

Additionally, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway will not only provide a substantial number of local employment opportunities but also contribute to the development of high-quality talent for industry downstreaming in Indonesia through knowledge and technology sharing. According to current estimates by the Indonesian government, over 30,000 employment opportunities will be directly related to the high-speed railway project.

In the long term, the completion and operation of the high-speed rail will further enhance the local investment environment, increase job opportunities for the Indonesian people, and robustly drive commercial development and tourism along its route. It will promote the establishment of new growth points and accelerate the formation of an economic corridor centered around the high-speed railway. I firmly believe that the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway will become a comprehensive path of development, livelihood improvement, and mutual benefit, serving the Indonesian people as a whole.

The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway is the flagship project of high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and Indonesia, symbolizing a series of exquisite engineering collaborations between the two nations. As China's first high-speed rail project to venture abroad, it represents the "Friendship Road" that bears witness to the friendly relations between China and Indonesia. It comprehensively embodies the principles of the BRI — extensive consultation, joint construction, and shared benefits.

The successful completion of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway not only demonstrates the maturity and efficiency of Chinese high-speed rail technology, characterized by international standards and environmental adaptability, but also vividly illustrates the positive impact of high-quality cooperation under the BRI on the local population. It has sincerely been welcomed by the people of both collaborating countries.

The success of the project serves as a positive reference point for similar endeavors and will contribute to the further enhancement and acceleration of China-Indonesia friendly ties. It also reinforces the confidence of numerous developing countries in pursuing development paths that align with their own national circumstances.

During President Joko Widodo's visit to China in July to attend the opening ceremony of the Chengdu FISU World University Games, President Xi held talks with him. This marked the third face-to-face meeting between the two heads of state within a year, showcasing the high level and uniqueness of China-Indonesia relations. On each occasion, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway has been an important topic in their discussions, underscoring the special position of the project in the development of China-Indonesia friendly relations.

As President Xi pointed out, on the path to national modernization and rejuvenation, China and Indonesia, sharing highly aligned visions and presenting opportunities for each other's development, are like-minded companions and good partners. It provides clear direction and imparts robust momentum for the future development of China-Indonesia friendly relations.

Looking ahead, we believe that the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway will serve as a future path that not only facilitates but also bears witness to the stable and far-reaching development of China-Indonesia friendly relations.

Now the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway carries the aspirations of the Indonesian people for a better life, speeding across the beautiful landscape of Java. We are willing to seize the opportunity presented by the opening of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway to raise strategic cooperation between China and Indonesia to a higher level. We aim to transform the vision of a China-Indonesia community of shared future from a grand blueprint into a tangible reality, creating an exemplary model of unity, cooperation, and shared development among major developing nations and injecting more certainty and positive energy into the region and the world.

The author is China's ambassador to Indonesia.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349