China – Asean Monitor Weekly


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Photo from The Jakarta Post

Trade and Investment

Malaysian Prime Minister signs 14 business arrangements during China visit
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the proposed investments from 14 business arrangements sealed during his weeklong official visit to China which started on 31 October totalled RM143.64 billion or US$34.26 billion. Najib said the value of investments further supports the conclusion that the official visit would bring bilateral relations between Malaysia and China to new heights. The prime minister also achieved another landmark with the purchase of four littoral mission ships by the Malaysian Navy, Malaysia’s first military equipment trade with China.

This is Najib’s third official visit to China as prime minister. The first was in 2009, and the second in 2014 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China. Najib has also had three working visits to China, in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
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Brunei welcomes more FDI from China: minister
Brunei welcomed more foreign direct investment (FDI) from China, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng said on 29 October when meeting a preparatory team for the Brunei branch of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK). Brunei is pushing for economic diversification aside from oil and gas industry under the requirement from the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Lim added.
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Political Security


Growing Philippine-Chinese Ties Raise Questions in ASEAN

The Philippines’ new foreign policy, with President Rodrigo Duterte plans of reducing ties with the United States and strengthen relations with China, is raising questions about what this will mean for its ASEAN member nations and ASEAN centrality. The thawing relations with China are however easing the tensions over the South China Sea conflict, Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on 28 October.
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Is China Repeating Japan’s Missteps?
The sad case of Japan should serve as a cautionary tale for China’s policymakers. Beijing pursued almost identical economic policies to Tokyo’s to generate its rapid development. Now China’s leaders are repeating the missteps the Japanese made that tanked Japan’s economy and thwarted its revival.

About 30 years ago, few foresaw the decline of Japan, which was the East Asian giant poised to overtake the US as the world’s top economy. But even as Japan appeared destined for greatness, its economy was, in reality, starting to rot. Those clubby ties among finance, business, and government misallocated capital and led to wasteful investments. Growth was given a boost by cheap credit in the second half of the 1980s, but that also helped inflate debt levels and stock and property prices. When this “bubble economy” burst in the early 1990s, the financial industry was flattened. Japan has yet to fully recover.
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