China – ASEAN Monitor Weekly


Photo from The Jakarta Post

Trade and Investment

Hopes rise as Duterte set to visit China
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will make a four-day state visit to China on 18-21 October, bringing along a 250-member business delegation, and a number of deals are expected to be signed. The visit will be Duterte’s first outside ASEAN since he took office in June. It will also be the first state visit by a top Philippine leader to China in the past five years, during which time maritime disputes soured bilateral ties. Experts say the visit might open a new chapter in Beijing-Manila relations as well as in the South China Sea debate.
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US is a Rare Bright Spot in Southeast Asia as China Exports Drop
After years of looking to China as a source of growth, ASEAN countries are turning their attention back to the world’s largest economy on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Exports to the US from all but one of the six largest ASEAN economies increased in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the International Monetary Fund. Shipments to China declined in four of the countries in the same period.
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Opinion: Promoting the 21st century Maritime Silk Road to ASEAN
The vision of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and the overall Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), (formerly named One Belt One Road, or OBOR) provides a very lucrative initiative from China towards ASEAN. At least that’s what the Chinese are trying to sell us. Information regarding the implementation of this 21st century MSR and the overall BRI is still sparse. China has certainly touched a soft spot by promoting infrastructure and manufacturing investment as ASEAN states have long experienced “infrastructure hunger” but in successfully implementing the 21st century MSR in ASEAN, China must understand several key factors. First, China must engage with ASEAN on the basis of equal level, not in a hegemonic way. China must also provide high quality infrastructure, refrain from harvesting short-term gains and focus on sustainability.
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Political Security

China’s leader visits ally Cambodia to cement strong ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping on 13 October began a two-day state visit to strong ally Cambodia, during which he will strengthen the already firm relationship and witness the signing of nearly 30 agreements. In his first trip to Cambodia since becoming head of state, Xi is due to meet with King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen. China has provided millions of dollars in aid and investment in Cambodia over the past decade, including US$600 million in aid to support the country’s election infrastructure, education and health.
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Singapore supports China’s call for ASEAN-China maritime exercise: Ong Ye Kung
Singapore supports China’s proposal for an ASEAN-China maritime exercise, said the Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung on 11 October, adding that Singapore, as the current ASEAN-China Country Coordinator, will facilitate the process. The exercise was proposed by China’s Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan at the China-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting in Vientiane, Laos in May.
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