Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China Hosts Regional Meeting, Announces $11.5 Billion Loan to Neighbors

Chinese Premier Addresses Southeast Asian leaders meet.

(Photo : Reuters) Chinese Premier Addresses Southeast Asian leaders.

The first Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders' Meeting "Shared River, Shared Future" started off on a hopeful note on March 23 at Sanya in China's Hainan province.

Leaders from six countries located along the Lancang-Mekong River, namely: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vice President of Myanmar Sai Mauk Kham, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh came together to discuss and deliberate upon the joint future of the Southeast Asian countries.

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On March 22, China called on nations along the Lancang-Mekong River to make the historic leaders' meeting a sucess to ensure future cooperation. On the following day, a cooperation agreement among the six countries was officially established.

During the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation meeting, China made an offer of $11.5 billion which includes 10 billion Yuan ($1.1 billion) in preferential loans and a $10 billion credit line to its neighboring Southeast Asian countries for infrastructure and other projects.

Chinese Premier said that the Lancang-Mekong sub-region was a joint home to the six nations and that over the past years the neighbors have become a family, Xinhua reported. 

The Premier added that he would make efforts to persuade China's new 'Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank' and its 'Silk Road Fund' to finance projects in the peninsular region and also promote use of the Chinese Yuan currency for trade with its neighbors.

Maung Maung Lay, Vice President of the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said that the country is now looking forward to numerous regional developmental initiatives after Wednesday's meet.

China has made offers of friendship to Myanmar and Vietnam despite tensions brewing between the countries over different issues; being involved in a highly unpleasant territorial dispute in the South China Sea over competing claims.

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