* China's Wen seeks Central Asian takers for $10 bln loan
* Plans investment in infrastructure, energy
* China, Russia plan satellite launch to curb security
By Olga Dzyubenko
BISHKEK, Dec 5 China has invited Central Asian
states to invest in road, rail and energy projects, using a $10
billion loan package that will extend Beijing's reach in the
resource-rich former Soviet region.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the country's state-run
banks were prepared to fund projects including a rail link from
Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan. China, along with Russia, also
planned to launch a new satellite in the region, he said.
Wen was speaking on Wednesday at a meeting of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security and economic
bloc linking China, Russia and four Central Asian states. China
pledged the $10 billion loan package at an SCO meeting in June.
"We intend to invest this money in infrastructure, energy
and production projects, in order to facilitate development of
the real economy," Wen said in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
He said China would welcome approaches by SCO member states
to the state-owned Eximbank and Development Bank of China.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan all belong to
China is extending its economic influence across its
2,800-km (1,700-mile) border with Central Asia as a
counterbalance to U.S. and Russian presence in a region with
vast mineral reserves on the northern borders of Afghanistan and
But China and Russia also share a common interest in
reinforcing the region's porous borders and preventing any
spillover of Taliban-inspired violence when NATO troops leave
Afghanistan in 2014.
Wen said China and Russia had carried out a feasibility
study into the launch of a satellite that he said could become
an "anti-terror" platform for SCO member states and improve
communications in the event of natural disasters.
"China and Russia, having already completed a feasibility
study, are ready to work on the creation and the launch of this
satellite," the Chinese premier said.
In addition to the six member countries, the SCO, formed in
2001, invites Iran, India, Pakistan and others to attend its
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, attending the same
event, said Moscow would also support the satellite launch and
participate in projects to improve regional infrastructure.
Wen said he wanted to accelerate construction of a railway
line from Uzbekistan to China and that Beijing was willing to
finance interested parties.
China has already supplied billions of dollars in loans to
Uzbekistan. Rustam Azimov, Uzbekistan's first deputy prime
minister, said two state-owned Chinese banks had supplied more
than $5 billion in favourable loans for industrial projects.
Uzbekistan started supplying natural gas to China in August,
feeding into a 2,000-km (1,250-mile) pipeline network that
originates in Turkmenistan.