China had planned to announce a $10 billion fund for investment in Asian infrastructure-building at a 16-nation summit in Thailand before the meeting was shut down by demonstrators, an official news agency reported on Sunday. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Saturday that the fund would promote construction to better connect China with its Southeast Asian neighbors, but did not give examples of projects, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.
Premier Wen Jiabao had planned to announce the measure at the East Asia Summit in the beach resort of Pattaya, Xinhua said. The meeting had to be canceled and Asian leaders evacuated after hundreds of anti-government protesters stormed into the summit site. It was not immediately clear if China would go ahead with the planned investments. Calls to the Foreign Ministry and its after-hours mobile phone rang unanswered Sunday.
China also plans to offer $15 billion in credit to Southeast Asian countries, Xinhua said, including loans with preferential terms of $1.7 billion in aid to cooperation projects between the two sides.
Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar were to receive about $40 million in special aid from China to help the countries weather the economic crisis, while another $50 million would go to another fund to promote cooperation between China and the region, the report said. The summit was to bring together leaders the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, regional powers China, Japan and India, and the U.N. secretary-general and president of the World Bank, who had planned to discuss the global financial crisis.
More than 1,000 demonstrators broke through a wall of unarmed soldiers, smashed through the convention center's glass doors and ran through the building, blowing horns, waving Thai flags and shouting demands for Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to resign.