September 24, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

China opens purse to seduce Asean after building new rail & road links

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China opens purse to seduce Asean after building new rail & road links
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China opens purse to seduce Asean after building new rail & road links
China opens purse to seduce Asean after building new rail & road links

China is unleashing its buying power to lure Myanmar, Singapore and the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to its side within two weeks of inaugurating rail and road linkages with Myanmar.
“China will import more distinctive products from Asean, expand mutual investment, deepen the industrial supply chain and promote Lancang-Mekong cooperation,” Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan said, referring to the economic corridor with Southeast Asia. He was speaking at the China-Asean Business and Investment Summit in Nanning city.
The first cargo train using the new rail link carried goods from Myanmar that reached Chengdu city in China on August 27. This is the first time that China has established a direct link to the Indian Ocean through Myanmar.
For India, the rail and road linkage through Myanmar is both a strategic and a trade challenge. Trains make it easy to transport extremely heavy military equipment. The new link connects China to Myanmar’s Yangon port and gives it easy access to the market in Southeast Asia. The first cargo train brought goods from Singapore to Yangon port.
Speaking at the event, Myanmar minister of commerce Pwint San said, “I would like to request China and our Asean friends to work with us to revitalise the economy of the region.” He emphasised the need to further “liberalise the non-tariff barriers on goods that are essential to facilitate and boost our trade”.
Beijing’s promise to enhance imports from Asean also comes in the midst of an intense tussle between the Chinese and US navies in the South China Sea. Most of the Southeast Asian countries share the shores of the South China Sea and China wants to reduce US influence over them.
China is the biggest trade partner for these countries, some of when are connected by rail or road. The first railway line linking China to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, will be inaugurated on December 2. The 42- km railroad stretch in Laos has been funded by the Chinese putting the country in debt.
“Looking ahead, Asean and China will benefit further from closer economic integration, especially with a fast-growing digital economy and an expanding middle class,” Singapore deputy PM Heng Swee Keat said at the event on Friday
Trade volume between the 10-member Asean and China grew 6.7% to $684.6 billion in 2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic challenge receded, the trade volume jumped 38% to $410.7 billion in the first six months of 2021 from a year before.

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