Interview: Jakarta-Bandung HSR deepens friendship between Chinese, Indonesian people

(Xinhua) 16:11, December 26, 2023

Garibaldi Thohir, chairman of the China Committee of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 20, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)

JAKARTA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) deepens the friendship between the people of Indonesia and China, exerting a positive influence on enhancing the relationship between the two countries, said Garibaldi Thohir, chairman of the China Committee of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR is welcomed in Indonesia, Thohir said in a recent interview with Xinhua in Jakarta, noting that since its official operation over two months ago, there has been a surge in enthusiasm among the Indonesian people for traveling on the HSR.

He said that China's advanced high-speed railway technology, combined with the friendly and warm service of Indonesian crew members, has made the Jakarta-Bandung HSR a highly attractive public transportation option in Indonesia.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR, connecting Jakarta and West Java's provincial capital Bandung, is the first high-speed railway in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia. With a maximum design speed of 350 km per hour, it cuts the travel time between the two cities from over three hours to around 40 minutes.

As a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, the 142.3-km railway is the first overseas high-speed railway project that fully uses Chinese railway systems, technology and industrial components.

Thohir said that high-speed railway, which carries a large capacity of passengers, is a stable, efficient and low-carbon transportation mode. China's cities have established a reliable and convenient interconnected network through high-speed railways and Indonesia should learn from China and construct more high-speed railways.

"The Jakarta-Bandung HSR brings advanced Chinese high-speed railway technology to Indonesia and strengthens the connection between Jakarta and Bandung, playing a significant role in promoting Indonesia's regional economic development," Thohir said.

"I hope that in the future, the Jakarta-Bandung HSR can be further extended to Surabaya, and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan can also explore the possibility of building high-speed railways in order to enhance the transportation and economic development of the whole of Indonesia," Thohir added.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an important bridge of communication between Indonesian enterprises and the government, and its China committee plays an important role in promoting China-Indonesian economic and trade cooperation.

Thohir recalled that he first visited China in 1993 and has visited many Chinese cities in the past 30 years. "I'm very fortunate to be able to witness China's development achievements. China's development is very fast," he said.

"I'm amazed at the great changes in China in these 30 years. I get a different experience each time I go to China. Many cities have left unforgettable impressions on me, and every city has something worth learning from for Indonesia."

He said China is an important source of investment for Indonesia. "China's investment in Indonesia has created jobs, brought social and livelihood values, and made important contributions to Indonesia's social development."

Thohir said Indonesia and China have broad prospects for cooperation in mining, renewable energy, agriculture, fisheries, science and technology, tourism and other fields.

"Chinese enterprises are warmly welcomed to invest and develop in Indonesia, and I hope Indonesia and China could continue to deepen cooperation," he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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