Indonesia has recorded nearly 18.3 million cases and over 50,700 deaths since the raging epidemic over the last 15 months. Since the second quarter from last year, the epidemic has led to contractions on Indonesia's economy for 4 months consecutively.
In spite of the COVID-19 epidemic, China-Indonesia economic and trade cooperation has become a highlight to inspire people. From Java to Bali, Sulawesi, Sumatra to Kalimantan, on the premise of strict epidemic prevention and control, China-invested enterprises have been busy on programs regarding transportation, water infrastructure, energy, mineral and parks, playing a positive role in ensuring job security and stabilizing economic fundamentals in Indonesia.
In 2020, China-Indonesia economic and trade cooperation rebounded against the background of global economic downturn. China remained Indonesia's largest trading partner and second largest source of investment. The trade volume between the two countries totaled $78.37 billion. China's direct investment in Indonesia reached US $2 billion, up by 86.5 percent.
Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is an important project for the strategic connection between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Maritime Fulcrum in Indonesia. Since the beginning of the construction in June 2018, under the great attention and promotion of the heads of state of China and Indonesia, China State Railway Group has taken the lead in organizing Chinese enterprises participating in the construction to cooperate closely with the Indonesian government and enterprises and promoted land expropriation and demolition, project investment, civil construction, personnel training and other work, which has guaranteed the smooth progress of the project.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Indonesia, Chinese enterprises have taken strong measures to put construction site under closed management, place all Chinese and Indonesian personnel in centralized accommodation. New entrants shall not enter the construction site until taking tests and being quarantined for 14 days.
The construction of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway has entered a critical stage of transforming from substructure of roadbed, bridge and tunnel to beam and rail laying, from engineering construction to operation and maintenance preparation. The civil works throughout the line have been completed 83% of the total, 7 out of the 13 tunnels have been through. Continuous beams and frame piers on most key sections have been completed and the main roadbed, bridge, tunnel, station, house-building and other projects are progressing smoothly and orderly.
2021 is a key year for the construction of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. Track construction is scheduled to begin this month and all construction of bridges and tunnels will be completed by the end of this year. Both China and Indonesia are looking forward to the opening of the railway next year.
In May, Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway had finished several node tasks. On May 18th, Indonesian President Joko inspected the construction site of Chinese construction enterprises. After inspecting the general situation of No. 1 girder yard, girder transporting and erection and the shield tunnel at the exit of No. 1 tunnel, the president praised the achievements made by China and Indonesia in jointly building the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway.
In Sumatra, another key project of the Belt and Road Initiative—Bukit Asam power plant brought good news as well. On May 28th, the project met two milestone nodes, which were the hydraulic test of No. 1 boiler and buckle cylinder of No.1 steam engine, bringing the sprinting signal for No. 1 unit to the goal to be ready to put into production by the end of the year.
Constructed in Palembang in South Sumatra, Bukit Asam project is the largest “Belt and Road Initiative” power project invested by China Huadian Corporation in Indonesia, and the largest pithead plant project in Indonesia. It is constructed by China Huadian Corporation and will build two supercritical coal-fired power generating units with an output of 660 MW. The project will start in February 2019 and is expected to be put into commercial use in March 2022. After completion, the project will generate 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The project will play a positive role in promoting Indonesian economy, cultivating local electric power technical personnel, improving energy mix in Indonesia, creating jobs and deepening cooperation between the two countries.
The project has created over 2000 jobs for local people, promoted the economic development of the surrounding by local procurement and improved production and living condition of the surrounding residents. Besides, Chinese enterprises have repaired public facilities for surrounding villages on many occasions, and delivered grain, oil and other daily necessities to poor local families on holidays, demonstrating the responsibility of Chinese-invested enterprises.
In beautiful Bali, the first-stage project of the Tsinghua Southeast Asia Center is being constructed by overseas company of China Construction Eighth Engineering Division Corporation. The project, which just overcame the effects brought by COVID-19 and opened in April, finished pile foundation project in May and started the excavation of the foundation, manifesting the “Chinese speed” of overseas construction.
The Tsinghua Southeast Asia Center is the third entity platform built overseas by Tsinghua University after Global Innovation Exchange in Seattle and China-Italy Design Innovation Hub in Milan. After construction, it will focus on talent training and academic exchanges in Southeast Asia, make contributions for human resources training in Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries in the era of Industry 4.0 and help construct "Belt and Road Initiative" and achieve sustainable development goals of the United Nations.