China premier to attend high-speed rail trial in Indonesia

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry visits Beijing

JAKARTA (Reuters) - China's Premier Li Qiang will this week attend in Indonesia's capital a trial run of a $7.3 billion high-speed rail project funded by the superpower, an Indonesian official said on Tuesday.

The flagship project of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has faced a range of delays from land procurement issues, the COVID-19 pandemic to ballooning costs.

The 142-kilometre (88-mile) railway connecting the capital Jakarta to the city of Bandung was originally supposed to be ready in 2019 but is now to be commercially launched on Oct. 1.

"Testing will be done Sept. 6 in the afternoon, attended by China's premier," deputy minister of state-owned enterprises Rosan Roeslani told a press conference, adding that senior Indonesian minister Luhut Pandjaitan will accompany the dignitary.

Li is in Jakarta to attend the East Asia summit and other meetings this week.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Widodo warned against Southeast Asian bloc getting dragged into big-power rivalry.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is also expected to attend the meetings in Jakarta.

(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Kanupriya Kapoor)