China to link ASEAN via Internet and telecom fund


CHINA will set up a special fund for Internet and telecommunications infrastructure to link China and ASEAN, said Lu Wei, minister of the State Council’s Cyberspace Administration of China.

Lu made the remarks yesterday at the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The forum will discuss building IT infrastructure and boosting e-commerce to connect China and Southeast Asia.

China first proposed the Information Harbor initiative in September 2014. The initiative will include five cooperative platforms to benefit China and ASEAN members, covering infrastructure, information sharing, technological innovation, trade services and cultural exchange.

The initiative, aimed to create an information hub for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a planned network of trade infrastructure mirroring the ancient Silk Road, has been supported and welcomed by ASEAN members, Lu said.

According to China’s plan, a base for the Information Harbor will be set up in Nanning and comprise 34 projects worth 20.9 billion yuan (US$3.3 billion).

Guangxi lies in a key area along the Belt and Road route, serving as a gateway for cooperation with Southeast Asia, said Peng Qinghua, Communist Party chief of the region.

Guangxi reported 210 billion yuan in e-commerce trade last year, up 65.9 percent from 2013. The volume reached 193.9 billion yuan during the first half of 2015, up 84.7 percent from the same period last year, as ASEAN and China deepened their cooperation, Peng said.

He said the Guangxi government will spare no efforts in implementing the initiative and create a mutually beneficial situation with ASEAN members.