China plays an important role in global development, especially for countries in the Global South. Thanks to its financial strength, expertise in implementing extensive infrastructure projects and promoting technology transfer, Chinese development cooperation has enormous potential.
In 2020, China's official development assistance totaled over five billion euros. Although the increase in this budget has slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic, China remains a key player in global development. Ties are becoming ever closer, particularly with countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, where the People's Republic is also the largest trading partner. Nevertheless, the example of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway in Indonesia also reveals negative effects. Civil society and the rural population criticize the project due to its financial risks, violation of land rights, and the environmental damage it causes.
Joanna Klabisch's article, "Mit Hochgeschwindigkeit zu mehr Infrastruktur?" from the China Programme of Stiftung Asienhaus, underscores these effects. Originally published in German in issue 1/2023, "Entwicklung für wen?" of our online magazine südostasien, it has been translated into English and Chinese and is available on the Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC) homepage under the title "A Belt and Road Prestige Project: A Story of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway."