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Belt and Road

Indonesia turns to state coffers as China-led rail project's costs soar

Belt and Road deal sours amid mounting delays for Jakarta-Bandung line

A tunnel under construction for the Jakarta-Bandung railway: The long-delayed 140 km link would slash travel time between the cities to 45 minutes from three and a half hours.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- When Indonesia awarded the contract for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway to a Chinese consortium six years ago, the project was supposed to be completed by 2018 with no financial contributions or guarantees required from the Indonesian government.

But with construction years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issued a decree Oct. 6 that lets the government put state funds into the project -- negating one of the biggest perks that had led Indonesia to choose the Chinese proposal over a Japanese alternative.

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