Xi in call for building of new 'maritime silk road'

Updated: 2013-10-04 01:58

By WU JIAO in Jakarta and ZHANG YUNBI in Beijing (China Daily)

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Xi proposed both on Wednesday and Thursday to set up an Asian investment bank to support regional connectivity construction.

Suryono said the proposal is very important for Indonesia, as the country has drawn up a $400 billion plan for its domestic infrastructure construction and requires investment.

China is expected to take a more proactive role in promoting connectivity construction in the region, and "obstacles in financing, legislation and standards" should be addressed with joint efforts as soon as possible, said Zhang Yunling, a senior research fellow on Asia-Pacific studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"If the connectivity projects with the region finally achieve smooth interconnection with each other, the China-ASEAN free trade zone will see a much greater potential to be tapped into," Zhang said.

A modernized rail network that connects ASEAN members remains to be established, and imbalanced infrastructure construction within the nations has become a bottleneck for further upgrading China's trade links with them, Zhang said.

With regard to differences and disputes between China and some Southeast Asian nations on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Xi said: "Peaceful solutions should be sought, and differences and disputes should be properly handled through dialogue on an equal footing and friendly consultation in the overall interests of bilateral ties and regional stability."

Recent years have seen the Philippines stirring up the South China Sea situation with its attempt to internationalize claims on some of the islands.

"But it has been proved that the tangible benefits of cooperation far outweigh individual territorial problems," Yang Baoyun said.

Eddy Sadeli, a member of Indonesian parliament, said he was impressed by Xi's speech as "Xi really knows well the history of the relationship between Indonesia and China".

He said that as an important member of ASEAN, Indonesia will play a role in overall ties between China and ASEAN.

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