China’s Xi says wants to ensure ‘correct direction’ of Myanmar ties


Xi meets Suu Kyi

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday China wants to ensure relations develop in the “correct direction”, as Myanmar activists wrote to Xi saying they want China to address concern about a stalled dam project.

China has been on a diplomatic offensive since Suu Kyi’s government came to power in April, aiming to forge good ties with its resource-rich neighbor.

“The people in Myanmar stand at a new starting point for a splendid future of the country,” Xi told Suu Kyi.

“We should adhere to the correct direction, to push for new progress in bilateral relations and to bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.”

He made no mention of the Chinese-invested $3.6 billion Myitsone dam project in comments in front of reporters.

Former Myanmar President Thein Sein angered China in 2011 when he suspended work on the hydro-power dam, at the confluence of two northern rivers in the Ayeyarwady river basin, after it drew widespread protests on environmental grounds.

China has been pushing for work to restart on the dam, which under the original plans would have sent 90 percent of its power to China.

A Myanmar commission reviewing the project, and other proposed hydro-power dams, is expected to report by Nov. 11.

Chinese state radio paraphrased Suu Kyi as saying the commission would try to find the “best resolution” for the dam issue, though she said she had no way of knowing what that was.

In Myanmar’s largest city of Yangon, a group of 60 civil society groups on Thursday sent a letter to Xi via China’s embassy saying they hoped China was giving proper thought to their concerns.

“We believe the People’s Republic of China will take into serious consideration the fact that the opinion of Myanmar’s people has never been sought extensively enough since the Myitsone project was first conceived,” the groups said in their letter.

Thwin Linn Aung of Genuine People’s Servants, one of the organizers of the letter, told Reuters they had sent it to show support for Suu Kyi and ask China “not to apply pressure on her”.

Finding a solution to the Myitsone project is important for Suu Kyi who needs China’s cooperation in talks with Myanmar ethnic minority armed groups operating along the border with China.

Suu Kyi said Myanmar would work hard with China on border stability and not allow anything to happen which could affect “friendly relations” with its neighbors, Chinese state television said.

Xi said China would continue to play a “constructive role” in promoting Myanmar’s peace process, the report added.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “China’s Xi says wants to ensure ‘correct direction’ of Myanmar ties”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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2 Comments on “China’s Xi says wants to ensure ‘correct direction’ of Myanmar ties”

  1. Simon says:

    Since the rivers that is the lifeblood of most off Asia originate from China in the Tibetan plataeu these waters are Chinese. China is financing and building the dam project in Myanmar, the only contribution Myanmar provide is location on its territory and for that it is right they would recieve 10% of energy which given its smaller population is adequate enough compensation. If Myanmar chose not to proceed with the dam project China reseres the rights to shut down water flowing to Myanmar form its territory.

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  2. Steve says:

    That’s the problem with Western Style Democracy, similar to the new Brexit UK nuclear project that has recently being stalled due to change of Government and now a similar problem with Myanmar in the Myitsone Dam Project. It implies that China hoodwinked the Myanmar people in securing 90% of the power supply into China. This is a contractual obligation signed and agreed upon by the previous Myanmar Government.

    With several tribal factions including Myanmar people, the only authority that can evaluate the feasibility and advantages of the hydro power dam project are the Engineers, Environmental Experts and Government research analyst. I would have thought this was done by the previous Government.

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