China-ASEAN Monitor


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Photo Credit: Zhejiang Daily

Economy, Investment and Trade

Chinese firms to invest US$4.5 billion for industrial projects in the Philippines
(24 October 2017) According to the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) two Chinese companies are planning to invest a combined US$4.5 billion for iron and steel manufacturing and shipbuilding projects in the country. The projects will see the creation of up to 8,000 employment opportunities. Secretary of Trade and Investment Ramon Lopez said that the projects will contribute to the Philippine Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP) and Philippines’ bid to be a major producer of high-quality and safe steel products by 2030.
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Yuan use gains traction in Cambodia
(25 October 2017) According to a Cambodian central bank official, Chinese currency-backed settlements for cross-border commerce have taken off sharply. At a workshop organised by the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) Chea Serey, Director General of National Bank of Cambodia, said that in 2016 alone cross-border settlements in yuan amounted to 2.5 billion (US$377 million), or approximately 7 percent of the two countries’ total trade and investment. She was optimistic that yuan settlements would further increase as more banks facilitate transactions and Chinese investors look to de-risk away from the US dollar.
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New free-trade zone opens at Vietnam-China border
(24 October 2017) A new China-Vietnam cross-border trade zone in Southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region was recently declared open. Under construction since 2013, approximately US$9 billion was spent on the area which covers 50,000 square meters. China is a huge export market for Vietnam and the zone will create about 100,000 jobs and help lift 350,000 people out of poverty around the border area.
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Foreign Affairs

ASEAN and China hold joint naval exercise
(24 October 2017) China and Southeast Asian navies will hold an inaugural joint maritime exercise in 2018 according to Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. This will be done to build trust amid conflicting claims over the South China Sea. This was discussed during a meeting between China and Singapore on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting in the Philippines.
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China and Indonesia meet on anti-drug cooperation
(24 October 2017) Chinese and Indonesian officials from national anti-drug agencies held their first official bilateral meeting to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on anti-drug cooperation signed by the two governments in 2012. China’s National Narcotics Control Commission delegation head Wei Xiaojun said that during the meeting the two parties formulated mechanisms for the following meetings, including the appointment of direct contact persons of the respective agencies related to bilateral anti-drug cooperation and the specific the contents of the bilateral drug control cooperation.
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China continues to voice its support for Myanmar amidst Rohingya crisis
(21 October 2017) China continues to support Myanmar despite growing international pressure condemning the alleged campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in the country. Guo Yezhou Vice Minister of China’s Communist Party’s International Department, said that Beijing condemns “violence and terror acts” and backs measures to restore order, referring to attacks by Rohingya rebels on Myanmar security forces. He added that, “China and Myanmar are friendly neighbouring countries joined by rivers and mountains. China will be affected if there’s any unstable situation in Myanmar”.
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