Photo Credit: Xin Hua
ASEAN soft on China’s activities in South China Sea
30 April 2017 – ASEAN has avoided making any references to the rulings against China by the Hague-based arbitration court on the issue of South China Sea (SCS) or China’s militarisation of various islands in the area. The join statement by ASEAN called for the effective implementation of the code of conduct (COC) for the SCS. It reiterated that the framework document for COC is to be ready by June 2017, allowing for the early adoption of the code. Philippine Foreign Ministry official Zaldy Patron, who is in-charge of ASEAN affairs, said that no country pushed hard on the issue and that leaders were looking to improve ASEAN’s relationship with China. China welcomes the softer stance on the disputed area and said that this is a sign that efforts to ease tensions were working.
Source: Reuters (2 May 2017)
Thai junta defends purchase of submarine from China
30 April 2017 – In a show of goodwill three Chinese warships from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrived for a three day visit in Davao City a day after the conclusion of the 30th ASEAN Summit. The Philippines’ Naval Forces said that the visit was aimed at expanding communication, promoting cooperation, and improving friendship between the navies of the two countries. This was the first time the Chinese navy has visited the Philippines on a goodwill mission since 2010, under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Source: Rappler (30 April 2017)
Economy, Investment and Trade
Chinese company to build agriculture park in Laos
27 April 2017 – A number of Chinese firms have either chosen to leave or been asked to delist by the Singapore Exchange (SGX). In 2016, eight companies left the SGX, while in the first four months of 2017 of the 10 firms that have delisted six are Chinese companies. Many of the Chinese companies remain listed in Hong Kong. The firms have said that it is better for them to remain listed in one market leading to savings in compliance costs and management resources. Most of the companies which have delisted were ones that listed on the SGX a decade ago during the heyday of IPOs in the country.
Source: CNBC (27 April 2017)