Quora: 印尼高铁选择中国而非日本,错了吗?

Is Indonesia making a mistake to choose China instead of Japan for their new high speed rail project?



Mitchell Wang, IBDP student and about to NYU

Answered Feb 29 2016

Mistake? There is no mistake in international relationship. There is only advantages and disadvantages. Every action has its own reasons.


Back to the question.

First let's talk about high speed rail itself. Although the quality of rail from Japan is better than that from China, but the rail from China is also very good. However, have you ever thought about the price? It is much more lower! For Indonesia which is a developing country, she should concern about price



The core of this problem is not the railway itself!

Every action from any country has its politic reason. As an country which is familiar with the United States, Indonesia used to have many problems with China. It is a excellent time for two countries to ease the relationship.




Richard Chapman, Lived for a while in China

Answered Feb 29 2016 · Author has 525 answers and 227.4k answer views

I believe so, and given my prejudices, I feel the answer is self-evident:


Anyone who has ridden the Japanese Shinkansen cannot help but think that the build quality, engineering and operations are superior in every way. The safety record speaks for itself, and in a developing country where every other aspect of life involves sometimes dangerous compromises, it would be an object of pride to Indonesians to have a system built by the Japanese, unlike what happened at Wenzhou and the ongoing concerns about the quality of Chinese concreting of bridges.


Both countries, as I understand it, offered generous concessional financing, but do expect to involve their own workforces in construction, which I think given Indonesia's current standard of development, is necessary. Any perception that Japan ought to be the more expensive option, like choosing a Japanese car over a Chinese one, is not well founded in this case


Japan experiences co ption at senior levels, but is not ridden with the systemic co ption at every level, as China is. It would be to the Indonesian's best interest to ensure that ethical business behaviour is observed at every stage of design, construction and operation, even if we can be sure that some LDP politicians in Japan are bound to be profitting from it personally.


And it would transmit a clear and recognisable signal across Asia - that quality is not the preserve of the Europeans; that bullying tactics and endemic co ption does not have to be the way of life.



Iqbal Ezra, An Obeserver, A dreamer and A Builder

Updated Apr 16 2017 · Author has 213 answers and 98.8k answer views

As an Indonesian this is my answer.


Its baffling to me reading the answers given none of them are Indonesians, none of them know the country apart from the so called “misconceptions” and would quickly believe the first negativity that pops up, but hey this is Quora so everyone that think they got a brain and can read and write can pitch in.


A mistake or not would not be apparent until the lines have been completed and fully operational. So don’t get to carried away by this whole HSR image boosting thing.


Indonesia chose China because of two very simple reason. Closer partnership and more favourable financial incentives. Everyone in Indonesia knows that the Japanese have better tech know how in HSR, but they are stingy in the tech transfer side and their terms forced the Indonesian to favour China.


But all is not lost on Japan. A second line between Jakarta and Surabaya has recently been agreed upon and the Japanese are set to developed the line and they learned the lesson from being beaten by China in the Jakarta to Bandung line.


So if you think Indonesia is wooed by China alone than that is not the case. Indonesia is dancing with both countries.


A mistake or not only time will tell and in the mean time we as Indonesians prefer to partner with whom ever is less biased and less hypocritical and treat us as equals.


Lets face it Indonesia is far from perfect and so is the rest of the world, but at least we are not “a stuck up jerk nation that point fingers at others while hiding and ignoring the very same problem domestically and acting like the saviour of the world”



Banh Dau

Answered Nov 20 2017 · Author has 535 answers and 125.7k answer views

I don’t know about Indonesia, but in Vietnam, many projects in Hanoi are being built by Chinese contractors, and there are regrets now, because of delays, cost overrun, quality and safety issues. While in Saigon, projects being built by Japanese firms experience very few of those problems. So even though the Chinese firms got the initial bids lower in price than Japanese firms, in the end, it may prove to be more expensive, with lower quality.



Samuel Anggono, lives in Surabaya, Indonesia

Answered Nov 20 2017 · Author has 123 answers and 5.4k answer views

No. They made the right choice. China goods not always bad. They can and always produce high grade products for their own country and only make bad products because the market demands it. People actually ask for a Mercedes Benz with the price of Avanza as figure of speech. And in terms of politics, China is a rising dragon while America is a dying old man with past glory. And Japan is just (sorry), not as great as America even. And Japan experienced growth stagnation, it worrysome that they could still maintain the market demand of higher and higher quality with their dying market growth



Danny Wang, I rejected the CCP to join them.

Answered Feb 29, 2016 · Author has 62 answers and 42.7k answer views

My answer is simple: You get what you pay for. Questions of the same nature could be:


Is it a mistake to buy a 500-dollar Asus instead of a 2000-dollar Alienware, since basically they're both laptops with pretty similar functions?


Is it a mistake to buy a 5,000-dollar Toyota instead of a 200,000 dollar Land Rover, since basically they're both cars with pretty similar functions?


Is it a mistake to buy a 50-dollar made-in-China watch instead of a 5,000-dollar Swiss luxury watch, since basically they're both watches with pretty similar functions?


The list can go on endlessly- but you get my idea, it's all about affordability.



Darwin Sujaya, lives in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

Answered Nov 20, 2017 · Author has 266 answers and 87.7k answer views


China do have the largest railway network. They have tons of experience. If you ever use their railway you will know it is a good efficient railway. Right now Japan and China competing to invest in infrastructure. It is a good idea for our go nment to use this to our advantage like ask them to transfer the technology.




Maulana Akbar, lives in Jakarta

Answered Jan 19, 2017

Honestly, I totally upset with go nment that pick China than Japan. As we know, Japan is more established-technology than China. As well as China — in many people`s perspective — has bad quality products. Though I believe go nment had carefully consideration while making that decision.



Jiehui Huang

Answered Nov 23, 2017 · Upvoted by Matthew Jacobus, lived in Jakarta (2000-2017)


Singapore uses Chinese techs for it’s MRT system. And as all know, Singapore's MRT is known for being a huge mess. Delays every two days or so, for 15–20 minutes up to several hours. Collisions (which the media is trying to cover up), flooded tunnels and service disruptions that happens about once every week.

While Japan apologizes because one of their trains is 20 SECONDS EARLY!

You decide.






Zhiqiang Tang

Answered Jan 6, 2018

the UK made the opposite choice, see what happened for yourself, High-speed train delayed on first journey



Terry Haas, M.A. from Western Illinois University (1981)

Answered Nov 20, 2017 · Author has 396 answers and 26.2k answer views

In light of Japan’s extensive experience with high speed rail, it could well prove to be a mistake in choosing China over Japan. However, since China’s has engaged in targeted corporate espionage they have been able to improve their R & D, thus improving quality of the products they now manufacture. I think the most significant factor might be that Japan has a record of excellent tech support for their products… I don’t think China is quite there yet. Let the rider beware.


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