China Economy Weekly: Beijing-ASEAN Trade; Rare Earths “Not Bargaining Instrument”; 12th Five-Year Plan
China and ASEAN Trade: Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking at the 13th China-ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam has said China is determined to develop economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Wen proposed that bilateral trade be increased to $500 billion by 2015, promising that China will make an effort to buy more from ASEAN countries. He also suggested setting up an Industrial Cooperation Mechanism within the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area framework to handle any problems and differences that arise.
Rare Earths “Not Bargaining Instrument”: Beijing has said that it will not use rare earths as a diplomatic "bargaining tool", in response to challenges against its management of the vital metals.