China-ASEAN Monitor Weekly

Politics and Security

ASEAN, China reaffirm commitment to Declaration on the Code of Conduct
ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct (DOC) and “to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea”. A joint statement was released in Laos on 25 July following the annual ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting. The statement made no mention of the Jul 12 decision on the South China Sea by the international tribunal at the Hague that went against China.
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People-to-people exchanges become new pillar for China-ASEAN ties
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said people-to-people exchanges, including education exchanges, are emerging as a new pillar in China-ASEAN relations and showing broad prospects. Li made the comments on 1 August in a congratulatory letter to the Ninth China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week. This year is China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Year, Li said, and it will be marked by nearly 300 activities across China and ASEAN.
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Trade and Investment

Boom in China-ASEAN trade weakens
Trade between China and ASEAN declined for the January-May period by 7.1% year-on-year, after 25 years of trade growth. China-ASEAN trade rose to US$472.16 billion in 2015 from US$7.96 billion in 1991, growing 18.5 percent annually.
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‘Proposed centre good for China-Malaysia ties’
An Asia Pacific Training Centre called the China University of Petroleum, Miri College was established in the Malaysian city Miri in north-eastern Sarawak on 1 August. The centre is a collaborative effort between China University of Petroleum and Humanoid Sdn Bhd. China University of Petroleum is currently associated with universities and academic institutions in 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain and Russia.
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The Chinese Economy

China’s debt is 250% of GDP and ‘could be fatal’, says government expert
Chinese President Xi Jinping is paying soldiers generous buyouts to leave the world’s largest army, and to do so quietly. The buyouts are meant to speed Xi’s push to shed 300,000 troops from the 2.3 million-member military and reduce the risk that demobilized troops end up disgruntled and on the streets, creating a new source of unrest at a time of slowing growth. State-owned enterprises have been ordered to hire former soldiers to maintain stability.
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