Indonesia invites China as investor for extended high-speed railway

Indonesia will go ahead with plans to extend construction of the Chinese-backed Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway to Surabaya despite Japan refusing to join the enlarged project, the investment ministry said Tuesday.
The government has offered China an opportunity to take part in extending the rail line to Indonesia’s second largest city and is open to other countries investing in this, said Jodi Mahardi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment.
Tokyo had rejected Jakarta’s invitation for a consortium of Japanese investors to sign on for the extended project, saying it was focused on its existing medium-speed rail project connecting the Indonesian capital to Surabaya, Jodi said.
“They want to focus on the north line first,” Jodi told BenarNews.
The Japan-backed rail project traverses the north side of Java, Indonesia’s most densely populated and built-up island.
The Indonesian government, however, wants the high-speed railway to Surabaya to pass through the south side of the island. The government believes that an extension will make the project more economically viable, Jodi said.
Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s minister for investment, told Beijing last week that it could build the high-speed railway extension. He made the offer during a meeting with Wang Yi, the visiting Chinese foreign minister.
“President Joko Widodo has told President Xi Jinping that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] can participate in the project,” Luhut said in a statement on…. Read more:
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