China's diplomacy aids regional co-op
NAY PYI TAW - China's diplomacy toward its neighboring countries would contribute to the steady growth of the region's bilateral and multi-lateral ties of cooperation, said Myanmar presidential spokesman U Ye Htut in a recent interview with Xinhua.
He said that relations between Myanmar and China and those between China and ASEAN countries are keeping a strong momentum of sound development.
He noted that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is due to arrive in Nay Pyi Taw in a few days to attend a series of meetings of East Asia Summit (EAS) and pay an official visit to Myanmar.
U Ye Htut, concurrently minister of information, told Xinhua that Premier Li's attendance at the summits and Myanmar visit is very important as it would enhance the Myanmar-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, promote cooperation and contribute to peace and stability in the East Asian region.
U Ye Htut said relations between Myanmar and China are good as leaders of the two countries met very frequently. President U Thein Sein has visited China six times, the country he visited the most since he came to office three years ago.
The minister said that the two countries can initiate more cooperation and there are good prospects with their bilateral ties.
But U Ye Htut also said that the bilateral relations are also faced with challenges, noting that some countries spread untrue allegation about China's peaceful development. To face the challenges, he said, exchanges between the two governments are not enough, efforts should be made to strengthen people-to-people contact.
"As long as we join hands to face up to these challenges, the friendly ties between our two governments and two peoples will be further developed", he added.
On China-Myanmar economic and trade ties, U Ye Htut said the two countries enjoy bright prospects for economic and trade cooperation. Currently China is Myanmar's biggest trade partner and its main source of investment. Despite reduced investment in Myanmar by China, joint efforts by both sides will ensure the sound development of bilateral economic and trade ties. He expressed the hope that China would continue to be Myanmar's top investor.
On the Maritime Silk Road, U Ye Htut said when meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, President U Thein Sein has voiced Myanmar's full support for China's proposal on building a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
"Maritime trade is an important aspect in Asia's development, so what China proposed concerned not only China, but the development of the entire region, giving impetus to the economic growth of the whole region, including that of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," the minister said.
He called for efforts to enhance regional connectivity to ensure even closer ties between countries in the region and their better development.
He expressed optimism over the development of China-ASEAN relations, saying the China-ASEAN relations in all aspects, including economic and trade ties, are enjoying good prospects, and that ASEAN and China, as important trading partners to each other, have bright prospects for even closer ecnomic cooperation.
On issues of regional security, he said the South China Sea issue is a challenge facing all. He noted that when Myanmar served as ASEAN's rotating presidency, ASEAN had reiterated its fundamental principles on the issue, namely, the countries concerned should seek a peaceful solution through consultation.
He said that Myanmar is delighted to see an ease of tensions in the South China Sea since May and expressed the confidence that as long as both sides of the dispute have taken a corrrect attitude, they would be able to overcome the challenge.