Visit by China's Xi to Myanmar consolidates bilateral ties

Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar's administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country's numerous ethnic armed groups. Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Ban
Vendors selling fresh fruit at a Myanmar night market. While the International Monetary Fund expects Myanmar to maintain real economic growth of at least 6 per cent a year through to 2022, it also warns of systematic risks posed by delays in restructuring the fragile banking system.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar's administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country's numerous ethnic armed groups. Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Ban
Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Bank observed that Myanmar had made “substantial improvements” in its business environment in the year to May.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar's administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country's numerous ethnic armed groups. Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Ban
Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar’s administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country’s numerous ethnic armed groups.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar's administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country's numerous ethnic armed groups. Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Ban
Men playing during Myanmar’s Independence Day celebrations on Jan 4. The country remains bogged down by global censure over atrocities committed against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state.PHOTO: REUTERS
Buddhist nuns at the Mingalar Thaikti nunnery. Myanmar's administration has struggled to make headway in peace talks with the country's numerous ethnic armed groups. Labourers carrying bags of rice at a Yangon River jetty. Last October, the World Ban
A colonial building in Yangon. On the economic front, the government has been criticised for moving too slowly to reform a system dominated by military-linked enterprises and its cronies.PHOTO: REUTERS

NAYPYITAW • In 1950, Myanmar established diplomatic ties with China. Now, 70 years later, bilateral ties are set to result in a new opportunity for development as Chinese President Xi Jinping pays a state visit to the South-east Asian country on Friday and Saturday.

As Mr Xi's first overseas tour this year, as well as his first trip to Myanmar as the Chinese head of state, the visit is a testimony to China's resolve to boost the two nations' "paukphaw" (fraternal) friendship, forge stronger ties with its close neighbour and contribute to building a shared future of development and prosperity in the region.

China and Myanmar share a 2,200km-long border and have a long history of people-to-people exchanges.

In 1954, leaders of China, Myanmar and India initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the spirit of which has become a worldwide consensus.

The steady development of China-Myanmar ties is seen as a demonstration of how to follow the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in others' internal affairs, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

In recent years, China has maintained good momentum for high-level contact and consolidated political mutual trust with the South-east Asian country.

Mr Xi has had meetings on several occasions with Myanmar's leaders, with important consensus being reached on advancing the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era.

China has, as always, attached great importance to promoting common development with its neighbouring nations on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

Meanwhile, Myanmar gives priority to enhancing its ties with China.

 
 
 
 

In 2016, soon after taking office as Myanmar's state counsellor, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi chose China as the first country to visit outside Asean.

Being economically complementary, China has become Myanmar's largest trading partner and important source of foreign investment, as bilateral economic and trade cooperation continue to deepen.

A top priority for the Myanmar government is to drive economic growth and improve people's well-being. China is more than willing to share its experience and know-how in combating poverty and building infrastructure, in an effort to promote win-win cooperation and seek common development with its neighbours.

The two neighbours are actively facilitating mutually beneficial projects, including oil and gas pipelines, port construction within the framework of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, and accelerating the development of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

It is in the fundamental interests of both countries to enhance China-Myanmar bonds and seek practical cooperation, which in turn will contribute to building a shared future in the Asia-Pacific region.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'Visit by China's Xi to Myanmar consolidates bilateral ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe