China-ASEAN Monitor: Cambodia seeks China’s assistance to boost e-commerce
Photo Credit: The Phnom Penh Post
Economy, Investment and Trade
ASEAN and China to enhance digital economy cooperation in 2020
(14 June 2020) China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to carry out cooperation in the digital economy in 2020. The enhanced cooperation measures will cover areas including 5G, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, industrial internet, as well as digital epidemic prevention, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said at the virtual opening ceremony held on 12 June. ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi said that China is a valuable partner of ASEAN in promoting the development of the digital economy in the region as it is at the forefront of the development of digital infrastructure.
Singtel in consortium to build high-performance data cable connecting Southeast Asia with East Asia
(11 June 2020) A consortium of companies that includes Singapore Telecommunications are building a high-performance submarine cable connecting the country with China (Hong Kong and Guangdong province), Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Other members of the consortium called the Asia Direct Cable Consortium, include China Telecom, SoftBank, Tata Communications, and Viettel. At 9,400 kilometres long, the cable is designed to carry more than 140 terabits per second of traffic, enabling high-capacity transmission of data across Southeast and East Asia. Construction of the cable is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Myanmar banana export to China slowly recovers
(10 June 2020) The conditions of Myanmar banana export to the Chinese market has gradually improved in recent weeks as the number of trucks that cross the border at Houqiao in Yunnan continues to grow. According to He Zhongpu of Yunnan Jinxin Agriculture Co., Ltd. (Jinxin), the import volume has increased compared to a few months ago. He revealed that distribution was almost impossible in March and April due to the restrictions imposed by the provincial government of Yunnan and the sales of Myanmar bananas to the Chinese market fell 62% in the first five months in 2020. Although Jinxin has imported around 10 truck-loads of bananas per day in the last few weeks, He said the import volume has not returned to the 2019 level seen in 2019.
China donates fourth batch of medical supplies to Myanmar to assist fight against COVID-19
(9 June 2020) The Chinese government has donated the fourth batch of medical supplies to Myanmar to assist in combating COVID-19. The supplies were handed over to the Myanmar side on 8 June 2020, and included disposable masks, N95 masks, goggles and personal protective equipment (PPEs). The Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar noted that 8 June is the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar, and that China is willing to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with Myanmar.
Thailand to discuss possibility of travel bubbles with China and other countries
(11 June 2020) Thailand has revealed that a number of countries, including China, are interested to pursue discussions on travel bubbles, as it considers standard operating procedures for the eventual return of foreign tourists. According to Bansarn Bunnag, an aide to Thailand’s premier, pacts to make travel easier during the COVID-19 era will be discussed at an ASEAN meeting scheduled to take place on 26 June. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to join the meeting via video conference. Bansarn added that some Chinese regions, as well as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand have shown interest in exploring the possibility of travel bubbles. Travel bubbles with countries deemed to have COVID-19 under control will allow visitors to return without being subject to quarantine requirements.