China to back Indonesian ports and high speed rail

Chinese president Xi Jinping signed agreements to finance the construction of a high-speed rail line from Jakarta to Bandung at the closing of the Asia-Africa summit last week.

Indonesia and China last week pledged to collaborate on large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-speed railway and ports, a spokesperson for Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in Jakarta on Thursday during the Asian-African conference in Bandung.

The summit saw the Chinese President vowing to promote more private and public participation in Indonesian infrastructure construction and operations. The commitments, which came as Indonesia was celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first Bandung conference, were welcomed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

China intends to invest in infrastructure projects such as the high-speed rail from Jakarta to Bandung, Arrmanantha Nasir told local press outlet Xinhua on the sidelines of the two-day Asian-African summit.

The spokesperson’s words were echoed by local press coverage of the signing, following the meeting, of cooperation documents on a high-speed rail project.

Other reports issued the next day were citing Indonesian Minister of state-owned enterprises Rini Soemarno, who, after a meeting with members of parliament, is said to have announced Chinese total commitments of about $50 billion in loans, a number also mentioned on Indonesia’s Cabinet Secretary website.

According to the minister, $40 billion will be disbursed by both the China Development Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China towards the Trans-Sumatra toll roads development.

The remaining $10 billion will go to state power firm PT. PLN for power transmission and power plant projects under the government’s 35,000-megawatt programme.

The Indonesian President, who visited Beijing last month, had announced prior to the meeting his will to deepen ties with China – listing toll roads, railways, power plants and ports as sectors which would welcome such collaboration both from a public and private sector perspective.