China-ASEAN Monitor


China-ASEAN Monitor

Photo Credit: Urdu Point

 

Economy, Investment and Trade

Trade volume between Cambodia and China in 2017 reaches US$1.2 billion
(20 March 2018) Trade volume between Cambodia and China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) reached US$1.2 billion in 2017. According to U.S. Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC), Cambodia managed to attract 13 investment projects with investment capital totalling up to US$85 million from the HKSAR last year. In addition to addressing HKSR’s capability to contribute to infrastructure financing and investment, as well as providing professional and legal services necessary to connect countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative, U.S. Council also mentioned there is great potential for growth in trade between Hong Kong and Cambodia. Since 2013, trade volumes between the two countries have experienced an average increase of 3.1 percent a year.
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Chinese government to construct Indonesia’s longest bridge
(15 March 2018) The Chinese government has expressed its interest to build Indonesia’s longest bridge worth US$14.50 billion (IDR12 trillion). Upon completion, the 5.6 kilometres bridge will connect Bulungan regency on Kalimantan’s main island to Tarakan, which is situated on a different island in the province. Governor of North Kalimantan Indonesia Irianto Lambrie said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed between the provincial administration and a Chinese firm on the project. The construction of the bridge, which is expected to ease the transport of goods by utilizing Tarakan city as a hub of regencies, will be financed via a sub-loan scheme provided by the Chinese Government.
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China called for more exports from the Philippines to address trade imbalance
(15 March 2018) With US$1.61 billion in shipments last January, China had emerged to become the Philippines’ top source of imports. The growing trade between both China and the Philippines seen over the past few years was attributed to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s successful visit to China in 2016, where he had prompted the removal of a ban on the Philippines’ banana exports as well as the lifting of a travel advisory, which has helped increase inflow of Chinese tourists into the Philippines.
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Reformation and China’s openness give a boost to its success
(19 March 2018) Cambodia’s secretary of state and spokesman for the Council of Ministers Phay Siphan said China’s reformation policy and the country’s openness to the outside world have allowed China to drive the global growth. The Cambodian officials further addressed the importance of The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road by noting that the initiative is vital for infrastructure development in developing countries. Meanwhile, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Education Center also added that China’s economic development in the last four decades was a great inspiration for the least developed countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
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Trade war between China and the United States creates concern on ASEAN markets
(15 March 2018) Fear for an intensifying global trade war fuelled by reports of US President Donald Trump seeking fresh tariffs on imports from China has led to a plunge for most of Southeast Asean stock markets. The relationship between the two countries was further tensed after the US pressed China to cut its trade surplus with the US by US$100 billion by either increasing China’s purchases of U.S. products, by making changes to China’s industrial policies, cutting subsidies to state-owned enterprises or further reducing steel and aluminium capacity. In Southeast Asia, Philippines shares fell 1.9 percent to a more than three-month closing low, while both Indonesian and Malaysian shares fell 0.6 percent. Indonesian shares on the other hand declined 1 percent to their lowest close since early January.
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Foreign Affairs

China and Cambodia hold joint military exercise as US relations cool
(17 March 2018) As a display of the strong ties between China and Cambodia, the two countries kicked off their joint military exercises focused on counter-terrorism and rescue operations. Cambodian military said the Dragon Gold 2018 joint military exercise, which involved 280 Cambodian and 216 Chinese soldiers, was celebrated in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and aim to strengthen the traditional relationship and the political trust between the two countries. The Cambodian military added that China’s support in spirit, equipment, and finance to the country have allowed Cambodia to progress rapidly in the infrastructure sector area. In 2016, China held its first joint naval drill with Cambodia while in 2017, Cambodia suspended its joint military exercises with the United States.
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