Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Junhua said on Thursday that the forthcoming official and friendly visit to Myanmar of Jia Qinglin, chair of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is of significant importance to the Sino-Myanmar neighbourly and friendly relations and economic and trade cooperation.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Li recalled that China and Myanmar are linked by mountains and rivers and have been enjoying deep friendship generation by generation. Tracing back such traditional relations to the Han dynasty 2,000 years ago, the two countries’ “paukphaw (fraternal)” friendship also enjoyed a firm historical base with exchange in the fields of culture, arts, religion and others becoming a fine and never-dull story of the two sides. Ambassador Li said after the establishment of New China, Myanmar was the first among nations, which recognised China and also initiated with China accord of friendship and non- interference.
The accord has successfully settled the two countries’ boundary issue through friendly coordination, setting up a model for other countries for the solution of similar issues.
Li pointed out that in the 1950s, leaders of China and Myanmar jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, not only laying down the political foundation for the development of the two countries’ relations but also becoming fundamental norms in handling relations between nations, acknowledged by the international community.
Li briefed that the frequent reciprocal visits of the two countries’ leaders show an apparent special characteristics of the bilateral ties, citing the visits of late Premier Zhou Enlai to Myanmar for nine occasions, that of late President U Ne Win to China for 12 occasions which he described as becoming a fine story spread among peoples of the two countries.
Entering into the new millennium, Chinese leaders such as Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Li Changchun and Xi Jinping successively visited Myanmar, he also recalled, saying that in 2010, China and Myanmar jointly marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao having visited Myanmar in the year. Over the past decade, Myanmar leaders Senior-General Than Shwe, vice Senior-General Maung Aye, U Thein Sein, U Tin Aung Myint Oo also toured China.
Li stressed that the Chinese government has as always developed relations with Myanmar under a policy of making friends and partners with surrounding neighbouring countries and a policy of making them peaceful and rich as well. Li noted that for 60 years after the two countries’ diplomatic establishment, mutual political trust continuously increased, economic cooperation deepened, diplomatic coordination perfected and exchange in military and culture closer.
In 2010, trade between China and Myanmar totalled 4.444 billion US dollars, an increase of 53.2 percent correspondingly. China has become Myanmar’s second largest trading partner. In 2010, China’s investment in Myanmar also rose rapidly, standing top for the first time in Myanmar’s foreign investment line-up with 12.3 billion US dollars. Ambassador Li specially noted that as Myanmar’s new government started to take office, the two countries’ relations face new opportunity of development which conforms to the basic benefit of the two countries and the two peoples and also contribute to the region’s peace, stability and development.
Li also spell out Chair Jia’s main activities during the Myanmar visit, saying that Jia, who is to arrive in Myanmar on April 2, will exchange views with President U Thein Sein, parliament speakers U Shwe Mann and U Tin Aung Myint Oo on future cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, social affairs and culture as well as exchange of experience with respect to administration and multi-party coordination. During the visit, the two countries will also sign a series of cooperation pacts, he said. Stressing that Myanmar’s political, economic and social development are at an important moment of changing shape, Li said Chair Jia is not only the first Chinese leader visiting Myanmar but also the first high-level foreign delegation leader to come to Myanmar after the new government took office.
The visit shows the close friendship between the two countries and high appreciation over the development in terms of relations and cooperation.