China unveils $25B in ASEAN aid, credit

April 12, 2009 at 10:36 AM

BEIJING, April 12 (UPI) -- China will extend $25 billion in aid and credit to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, officials revealed Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, meeting with envoys from the 10 ASEAN countries in Beijing, said China will establish a $10 billion China-ASEAN investment cooperation fund to be used for infrastructure construction, energy production, information technology and communications, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Yang also revealed China planned to offer $15 billion in credit to ASEAN countries during the next three to five years, as well as $39.7 million in special aid to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to meet what Chinese officials called urgent needs in those countries.

Yang made the announcements after returning from Thailand, where the scheduled ASEAN summit was postponed due to domestic unrest.

"The overall thought for China-ASEAN cooperation is that the two sides should rise to difficulties in face of the grim global financial crisis, and make efforts to convert unprecedented challenge into opportunity for closer pragmatic cooperation and common development," Yang told reporters.

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