China will offer US$10 billion in infrastructure loans to Southeast Asian countries and another RMB3.6 billion (US$560 million) to underdeveloped countries among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2016, Reuters reported, citing Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin. Liu did not say which bank would provide the loans, but the pledge comes as China seeks to expand its influence in the region and follows the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a Beijing-backed development bank that won support from Asian and European governments despite initial ambivalence from the United States and Japan.
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