China offers billions in aid and loans to neighbours - Xinhua

China's Premier Li Keqiang walks past national flags during the opening ceremony of the 5th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit at a hotel in Bangkok on Dec 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China's Premier Li Keqiang walks past national flags during the opening ceremony of the 5th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit at a hotel in Bangkok on Dec 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China has offered more than US$3 billion (S$3.9 billion) in loans and aid to neighbours Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos to improve infrastructure and production, and to fight poverty, state media reported on Saturday.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the offer included $1 billion for infrastructure, US$490 million for poverty alleviation and US$1.6 billion in special loans for China's production capacity export, Xinhua news agency said.

During a speech to the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation in Bangkok, Mr Li also pledged US$16.4 million to dredge waterways along the Mekong River to prevent natural disasters.

(more to come)