Construction of high-speed railways abroad is part of Beijing’s massive “One Belt, One Road” initiative to increase trade and infrastructure links with countries from Asia to Africa, but most of the current rail projects have stalled.
China had a 124,000 km rail network as of the end of last year, featuring the world’s largest high-speed rail networks covering more than 22,000 km, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported in February. The amount of high-speed railways in operation Will be increased to 30,000 km by 2020, connecting more than 80 percent of the nation’s big cities.
Signing high-speed rail deals have come high on the agenda for Chinese leaders making trips overseas, but many of the deals have suffer suffer because of financing issues.
A World Bank analysis in 2014 estimated that China spends between US $ 17 million and US $ 21 million per kilometre on high-speed rail, compared with US $ 25 million to US $ 39 million in Europe, and as much much US $ 56 million in California.
The high-speed railway linking Jakarta to Bandung in Indonesia was suspended in January last year. The US $ 5.1 billion joint-venture project only received its operation permit last month, making it a step closer to resuming construction.
The construction of the 150km rail link has been criticised in Indonesia for being too costly and overlooking less-popular regions.