China on Thursday offered loans worth over 20 billion U.S. dollars to support Southeast Asia's connectivity construction.
The offer, including a preferential loan worth 10 billion dollars for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and a 10-billion-dollar special loan set up by China Development Bank for the regional infrastructure development, was made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the 9th East Asia Summit here.
China will also set aside altogether 30 million yuan (around 4.89 million dollars) in the next three years for China-ASEAN economic and technical cooperation.
The premier said China will start raising 3 billion dollars for the second phase of the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund which targets investment opportunities in infrastructure, energy and natural resources in the ASEAN countries.
At the same time, Li pledged to offer assistance worth 3 billion yuan (about 480 million dollars) to less developed members of the ASEAN next year to help the regional bloc reduce poverty.
China will also offer 100 million yuan (16 million dollars) for rural poverty reduction project in East Asia, he added.
China, which regards ASEAN as a priority in its diplomacy with neighboring countries, is the largest trading partner of the 10-member regional bloc, and ASEAN has emerged as China's third-largest trading partner, a major investment destination and an important tourist destination.
The Chinese premier is here for a series of leaders' meetings on East Asian cooperation and an official visit to Myanmar.