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China to give aidto ASEAN countries

FOREIGN Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday unveiled a multi-billion-dollar package of aid and credit to enhance cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Yang met envoys of the 10 ASEAN countries in Beijing.

China plans to establish a China-ASEAN investment cooperation fund totaling US$10 billion, designed for cooperation on infrastructure construction, energy and resources, information and communications, Yang said.

And over the next three to five years, China is to offer US$15 billion credit to ASEAN countries, including loans of US$1.7 billion for cooperative projects.

China also plans to offer 270 million yuan (US$39.7 million) in aid to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to meet urgent needs, inject US$5 million into the China-ASEAN Cooperation Fund, and donate US$900,000 to the cooperation fund of the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

China would provide 300,000 tons of rice for the emergency East Asia rice reserve to strengthen food security in the region.

It was also to offer an extra 2,000 government scholarships and 200 master's scholarships for public administration students from developing member countries over the next five years.

"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 said.

The ASEAN countries are Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia.


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