China’s Belt and Road staggers and stalls in Indonesia

JAKARTA – For the frustrated Indonesian government, the light at the end of the tunnel still looks as far away as ever as it struggles to overcome cost overruns, land acquisition and technical problems holding up what was meant to be China’s signature Jakarta-Bandung fast-rail project.

Now three years behind the original completion date, the cost of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) joint venture between a Chinese consortium and four Indonesian state-owned enterprises has ballooned from US$6.07 billion to nearly $8 billion.

Clearly aware of the harm it is doing to China’s global infrastructure development strategy, President Xi Jinping sought to inject new urgency into the long-delayed project during his recent meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Beijing.

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