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Hope for stronger ASEAN trade links

By Bao Chang (China Daily)

08:14, November 30, 2012

A senior business official has expressed hope that stronger economic ties between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will not be affected by territorial rows in the South China Sea.

"China is not willing to see an impact on economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN by the South China Sea dispute, which would be harmful to both sides," said Xu Ningning, executive deputy secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Business Council.

But he did express concern that rising bilateral investment between China and ASEAN members may suffer if the situation continues to deteriorate.

Speaking at an awards ceremony for Chinese and ASEAN enterprises, Xu warned that Chinese and Southeast Asian investors may be concerned about their investment return if the tension continues.

Xu said that although governments will try to maintain bilateral investment growth between China and ASEAN, it's up to the enterprises to choose their investment destinations and make specific investment plans, especially under sensitive conditions.

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