China said it would extend US$25 billion in aid and credit to Asean countries in a bid to help the region weather the global economic crisis, Bloomberg reported. China will create a US$10 billion investment fund that will promote infrastructure development linking China with Asean nations, according to a statement published on the foreign ministry’s website. Additionally, China will offer US$15 billion in credit to Asean nations. China will also provide US$39.5 million to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and donate 300,000 tons of rice to an emergency regional reserve in a bid to boost food security. Analysts said China’s aid would boost its economic and diplomatic clout in the region. The proposal was meant to be announced at the weekend’s Asean summit in Thailand, which was canceled due to violent protests.
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