China Firm's Bid to Build Rail Line in Indonesia May Face Bureaucratic Hurdles

Jakarta: After the Dutch grabbed land forcibly to build Indonesia's railway network before World War II, it is the Chinese now who intend building a new railway line. China Railway Group bagged a US$4.8 billion contract to build and maintain the new railway line in southern Sumatra, which was the center of the Southeast Asian naval hub and traded with China before the Dutch arrived in Indonesia.

The train will run between the country's richest coal mine deposit, Tanjung Enim, and a new port in Sunda Strait, close to Krakatau, the volcano that is still active since first spewing lava in 1883. The coal will be transported to the northern hemisphere to support building infrastructure for resources that the Chinese government has deployed so successfully in other parts of the globe. However, the acquisition of land might not be a simple process for the Chinese unlike for Dutch given the huge amount of red tapism involved whenever foreign players make a foray into Indonesia.

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