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China offers over $20b loans for SE Asian connectivity

Premier Li Keqiang has vowed to upgrade China’s partnership with Southeast Asian countries in the next ten years.

Premier Li and Myanmar President Thein Sein, presided over the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting.

He said their strategic partnership has entered a new historical stage, which provides more opportunities for comprehensive cooperation.

Premier Li Keqiang has dubbed the next ten years a “diamond decade” for the China-ASEAN partnership. He says, it will not only bring more benefits to their peoples, but regional and world peace and development as well. He’s proposed several steps in achieving this goal.

First, put the priority on outlining the grand strategy for developing China-ASEAN relations.

Speed up the drafting of the third Plan of Action to implement the joint declaration on the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2016-2020).

By the end of 2015, complete negotiations for the upgrade of their free trade zone.

Li Keqiang also called for a cooperation center for strengthening maritime law enforcement.

In a show of China’s commitment to ASEAN, Premier Li announced loans worth over $20 billion, to boost Southeast Asia’s connectivity construction.

The offer includes a preferential loan worth $10 billion for the ASEAN members, and a $10 billion special loan set up by the China Development Bank for regional infrastructure development.

ASEAN leaders said a rising China would benefit the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world.

The leaders said ASEAN is willing to take its strategic partnership with China to the next level, to safeguard regional peace, stability and development.