China-ASEAN Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Cambodia to enhance cooperation deals with China
(12 January 2018) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed close ties with Cambodia during his official visit in Phnom Penh. Both sides signed agreements for Chinese loans on electricity and infrastructure development in Cambodia. Both countries also pledged to deepen cooperation in agriculture and grow bilateral trade to US$6 billion in 2020. Dr. Deth Sok Udom, Associate Professor of International Relations in Phnom Penh said that Cambodia plays a major role in the regional and subregional organisations such as the Greater Mekong Subregion, and is therefore of great importance to China’s strategic interests.
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Indonesia’s central bank to open a branch in China
(12 January 2018) Bank Indonesia (BI) signed an agreement with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to open a new representative office in Beijing. PBOC said that the opening of the office will deepen the cooperation between two central banks as well as trade ties. 2017 marked China as the biggest trade partner to Indonesia. Between January to November 2017, Beijing accounted for 14 percent of Indonesia exports and supplied 27 percent of its imports.
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China and Thailand seek closer ties
(11 January 2018) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with his counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand, to further promote bilateral cooperation between the two nations. Li said that China hopes to synergise its Belt and Road Initiative with Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor in trade, tourism and technology. During the sidelines of the second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders meeting, Li said that the construction of China-Thailand high-speed railway last month marked a step forward in bilateral cooperation. The Thai Prime Minister called for the two countries to boost more cooperation in trade, technology, tourism and education.
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Vast potential between China and Mekong countries
(11 January 2018) China and five Mekong River countries have huge potential for economic and trade cooperation.The second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders meeting approved a five-year action plan (2018-2022), charting the course for the LMC’s development into the next decade. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng, China is increasing its direct investment in the non-financial sectors in the Mekong countries by 25 percent year on year to reach US$ 3.2 billion.
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Foreign Affairs

Vietnam invites India to invest in the South China Sea
(11 January 2018) China objected to Vietnam’s invitation to India to invest in the oil and natural gas sector in the disputed South China Sea. Responding to remarks made by the Vietnam Ambassador to India, Ton Sinh Thanh to an Indian news organisation, China Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said that China does not object to the development of normal bilateral relations of relevant countries in the neighbourhood but firmly opposes relevant party to infringe upon China’s legitimate rights and interest in the South China Sea. India, which is ramping up ties with Vietnam and ASEAN, called for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
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