BEIJING, (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged to promote the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and bring more tangible benefits to the people of both countries.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who began a five-day official visit to China on Wednesday.
Xi welcomed Suu Kyi’s visit and praised her efforts to advance the China-Myanmar friendship, saying that China stands ready to work with Myanmar to ensure the two peoples will always be good neighbors, friends, brothers and partners.
He pointed out that China will support Myanmar’s choice of development path and its efforts to safeguard national stability, promote economic growth, and maintain social harmony.
In order to develop bilateral ties, the Chinese president called on the two sides to strengthen political guidance.
“China stands ready to maintain high-level contact and people-to-people exchanges with Myanmar as well as enhance communication and mutual trust,” Xi said.
The two countries should also integrate their development strategies, he said, adding that China appreciates Myanmar’s support for the Belt and Road Initiative.
China is willing to promote connectivity projects with Myanmar and boost bilateral cooperation in major areas such as energy and finance, he said, highlighting the importance of smooth operation of ongoing large-scale projects.
Lei Zhuning, a researcher with the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences,said Myanmar urgently needs electricity for its economic development, and hydropower is a good choice, referring to the Myitsone dam project, which was jointly funded by China and Myanmar, but was suspended by the Myanmar government in 2011.
China and Myanmar agreed on Thursday to enhance cooperation between energy departments to find a proper solution to the suspended project.
Xi also called for more attention to cooperation and exchanges in the areas of agriculture, water conservation, education, healthcare, culture, media and Buddhism.
“China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting Myanmar’s peace process, and make joint efforts with Myanmar to safeguard peace and stability along the border between the two nations,” he said.
At a news briefing earlier on Friday, Suu Kyi told reporters that Myanmar believes that China, as a good neighbor, will do everything possible to promote the country’s peace process.
Lei said if Myanmar can achieve domestic peace at an early date, it will take a free ride on China’s rapid development.
Echoing Xi’s remarks, Suu Kyi said Myanmar values the deep “pauk phaw” (“fraternal” in the Myanmar language) friendship between the two countries, and thanked China for its support for Myanmar’s economic and social development.
Myanmar is ready to maintain close high-level exchanges, strengthen the friendship between the two peoples, and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, she said.
She pledged that Myanmar will work with China to safeguard stability along the border, and will not allow anything that could affect amicable ties with its neighbors.
The National League for Democracy of Myanmar and the Communist Party of China, as the ruling parties of Myanmar and China, respectively, represent the people’s interests, she said, calling for more contact between the two parties.
Suu Kyi conveyed Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw’s message to invite Xi to pay a state visit to the Southeast Asian nation. Xi expressed gratitude for the invitation, according to a joint press release.
Suu Kyi also invited Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who held a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for her on Thursday, to visit Myanmar at his earliest convenience, and Li expressed gratitude for the invitation, the press release said.
Li and Suu Kyi held talks and witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on Thursday.
Both countries reiterated that they will push forward the China-Myanmar ties “from a strategic and long-term perspective,” said the joint press release.
China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang also met with Suu Kyi on Friday afternoon.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said the NPC attaches great importance to relations with Myanmar’s parliament, and is willing to have closer communication and share its experience, as well as strengthen coordination and cooperation under regional and international parliamentary mechanisms.
Suu Kyi voiced willingness to promote parliamentary exchanges and cooperation between the two countries to push forward the bilateral friendship.