As Xi visits, China offers rail grants to Vietnam, pushes Digital Silk Road

Chinese President Xi Jinping

© APA | Chinese President Xi Jinping

# 11 December 2023 09:46 (UTC +04:00)

China and Vietnam are set to agree this week on upgraded rail links and other infrastructure, possibly including digital projects, officials said, in moves that would bring Hanoi closer to Beijing as great powers jostle for influence in Vietnam, APA reports citing Reuters.

The announcements are expected during President Xi Jinping's visit to Hanoi from Tuesday, the first in six years to the Southeast Asian neighbour, and shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to the Vietnamese capital in September to strengthen bilateral ties.

China is ready to offer grants to Vietnam to boost the railway between Kunming and the Vietnamese port city of Haiphong, and other transport links from southern China to Hanoi, Vietnamese state paper Tuoi Tre reported, citing the Chinese ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo.

He said China was ready to provide "non-refundable aid" for these projects, the paper reported late on Sunday, in an offer that, if confirmed, would represent a major concession to a country that is traditionally loath of taking loans.