Contractors deny Western reports that Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway construction hindered
Published: Feb 20, 2020 09:07 PM

A prestressed concrete continuous rigid frame bridge in Bandung is being built for the high-speed rail project linking Jakarta and Bandung. Photo: Li Qiaoyi/GT

Chinese contractors on the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project in Indonesia on Thursday denied Western reports saying that the construction of the project has hit obstacles amid the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in China.

Western media allegations contradicted the truth, an executive of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project of China Railway Group Ltd, the project's main contractor, told the Global Times on Thursday.

People are working nonstop at the construction site, the executive said.

The comment came as Reuters reported that workers at the site now "focus on less-critical parts of the railway project," as "more than 100 Chinese personnel, mostly skilled workers or managers" have been stopped from returning to the project due to the coronavirus.

"The report exaggerated the situation. But it's not uncommon, as Western media often discredit China," an on-site manager of the project's another contractor — Power Construction Corp of China — told the Global Times.

The manager said that only 12 of the 100 workers at the construction site about 30 kilometers from the Indonesian capital Jakarta returned to China for the Spring Festival, the majority of whom are common laborers instead of skilled workers or managers.

"The impact is almost zero," he said.

The supply of construction materials is relatively tight because importing them from China has become more difficult, a skilled worker at the construction site told the Global Times. "This will have some impact on the project's schedule, but not much," he said.

Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference on Thursday that overseas projects invested and operated by Chinese companies are stable overall, and the impact of the coronavirus on Chinese companies going global is temporary and confined.

The ministry is stepping up communication and coordination with host nations to provide convenience for the entry of workers and equipment necessary for bilateral projects, Geng said.
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