China outlines infrastructure bank plan
- Published: 10 Oct 2013 at 09.36
- Online news:
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outlined a plan to establish an Asian infrastructure investment bank in a meeting Wednesday with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an Asean diplomatic source said.
China's Premier Li Keqiang, right, is showed the way by Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the Gala Dinner of the 23rd Asean Summit and Related Summits at the International Convention Centre in Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday. (EPA photo)
The 11-nation summit in Brunei came just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed in bilateral talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to set up the bank to provide financial support for infrastructure construction in developing countries in Asia, including Asean members.
The details of the planned bank were not immediately known, but Mr Li, in an interview with Asean media organisations published Tuesday, said the bank would help "meet, on a priority basis, some Asean countries' need for financial support in infrastructure building."
Another major topic discussed during the annual summit between Chinese and Asean leaders was the issue of overlapping claims in the South China Sea.
According to the source, Mr Li said that China does not want to "internationalise" the territorial and maritime disputes it has with some Asean countries, but prefers to address them "bilaterally."
Mr Li, who became premier in March, was quoted by another source as saying that despite their differences over the South China Sea issue, China and the 10-member Asean should strengthen cooperation, particularly on development and the economy in the region.
The 11 leaders agreed the disputes, which involve Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.
They also hailed the launch in September of official consultations between China and Asean on a legally binding code of conduct aimed at reducing territorial and maritime conflicts in the South China Sea, according to the source.
China's increasingly assertive claim to most of the disputed sea - which has some of the world's busiest shipping routes and is believed to be rich in oil and gas - puts the country at odds with some ASsean members, most notably the Philippines and Vietnam.