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Support for Myanmar's leadership

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-17 07:24

Support for Myanmar's leadership

Presidential candidate U Htin Kyaw (L) of the National League for Democracy (NLD) arrives at the Union Parliament in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, March 15, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

The election of National League for Democracy candidate Htin Kyaw as Myanmar's president on Tuesday, along with an NLD candidate and a military candidate as vice-presidents, marks a significant power transition in the country.

Given that the smooth transition of power remains a top priority for Myanmar's democratic process, it is indeed encouraging that various parties have shown a relatively high level of reason and willingness to compromise. But this also means the sharp differences among them may only have been temporarily shelved.

Taking a long-term perspective, it is clear Myanmar's democratic process will inevitably lead to the weakening of the military's influence on national politics.

At the same time, how to promote the legalization of Aung San Suu Kyi's de facto leadership is also a ticklish problem Htin Kyaw will have to address.

Due to the lack of a highly efficient civil service and an authoritative judiciary, and the challenge of eradicating divisions among the ethnic groups in its northern region, political issues are expected to be a drag on the country's progress.

But Myanmar's newly elected leadership has to overcome such difficulties to promote healthy economic development, as people have high expectations for the future under the NLD's rule.

Under its new leadership, Myanmar is unlikely to reverse its previous friendly policy toward China, as China is Myanmar's largest neighbor with time-honored links in various fields. Adopting an antagonistic stance toward China will only bring harm rather than benefits to Myanmar.

China is ready and able to support Myanmar's stability and development, and is also willing to help its neighbor stabilize the domestic situation and push forward its economic development, not least because these are also in China's interests.

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