Riding the Waves: Echoes of the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, with its diverse culture, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes, has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past decade. The construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, a landmark project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has symbolized the country’s astonishing progress, both economically and infrastructurally.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/I27XiQCl30c

“The BRI concerns not only the road on land but also the maritime road”, said Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesia’s Transportation Minister, highlighting that the maritime silk road is very important to Indonesia, since the country lies between Europe and China as a bridge linking the two continents.

Whoosh High-Speed Railway Heading to Better Future

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway (HSR) represents a significant milestone, being the first of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. With a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour, it changes people’s way of commute by cutting the travel time between the two urban centers from more than 3 hours to just 40 minutes.

People affectionately named it “Whoosh,” derived from “Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal,” translating to “Timesaving, Optimal Operation, Reliable System,” embodies the speed and efficiency of the railway.

Allan Tandiono, project management and business development director of KCIC shared his excitements, expressing that he can’t believe that Indonesia now has the first high-speed railway in Southeast Asia.

Indonesian officials say the high-speed railway is expected to improve economic productivity. They also tout the fact that the trains are powered by electricity, which will help reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

Like Transportation Minister Budi said, construction and development of the high-speed railway opens a new chapter in Indonesia’s transportation sector and brings great innovative changes.

Building Communities and More

The Belt and Road Initiative has not only advanced Indonesia’s infrastructure but has also significantly bolstered its economy. Bilateral trade between China and Indonesia has surged, with China becoming Indonesia’s largest trading partner for ten consecutive years. By 2022, the bilateral trade volume reached $149.1 billion, marking a 19.8% year-on-year increase. Furthermore, China has become the second largest source of investment in Indonesia, with Chinese investments reaching $8.23 billion in 2022.

Hassan Wirajuda, former Indonesia’s Foreign Minister said, “China’s economic growth and development has become an engine, attracting other developing countries to work together to spur their economic development.”

Through collaborative efforts within the framework of the BRI, Indonesia has experienced substantial growth, driven by continuous investments from Chinese companies. These investments have not only provided extensive job opportunities for local residents but have also prioritized the development of a skilled workforce. By deeply engaging with local communities, these investments have contributed not only to the local economy but also to a notable improvement in living standards and education in these areas.

The deepening of economic and cultural ties between China and Indonesia over the past decade is paving the way for mutual respect, cooperation, and prosperity. As Indonesia continues to ride the waves of development, the echoes of the Maritime Silk Road reverberate through the archipelago, symbolizing a future filled with promise and opportunity.

Media Contact
Company Name: Southern Finance Omnimedia Corp.
Contact Person: Yinong Li
Email: Send Email
Country: China
Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I27XiQCl30c&t=79s