Indonesia stops high-speed railway in favor of slower train
The two Asian giants had lobbied heavily up to Monday’s deadline for the contract. But in the end, President Joko Widodo decided that Indonesia did not need a train that could reach speeds of more than 300 km per hour.
“The president has decided don’t make it a high-speed train. It is enough to have a medium-speed train,” chief economics minister Darmin Nasution told reporters.
He said that both China and Japan can submit new proposals to build a slower rail link between the capital Jakarta and the textile town of Bandung, to the south.
The contract for a 150-km (94-mile) rail line linking the two cities, which would have cut the journey to 35 minutes from around three hours currently, had provoked stiff rivalry between China and Japan. ■