World / Asia-Pacific

Expert confident over Suu Kyi's approach

By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-06 09:09

Optimism over the pragmatic approach taken by Myanmar political heavyweight Aung San Suu Kyi has been voiced by a Chinese expert.

Suu Kyi has promised to rejuvenate her nation's economy and transportation, with China playing an important role.

The Southeast Asian nation has prioritized good relations with China, with the new administration that was sworn in on March 30 facing a number of challenges.

Jia Duqiang, a researcher of Southeast Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Beijing has been in contact with Suu Kyi and her ruling party, the National League for Democracy.

The basis of the relationship between the two countries is well founded, particularly regarding trade and infrastructure, Jia said.

Cooperation with China will be further advanced as Suu Kyi's party prioritizes the economy and enjoys considerable public support, Jia added.

Jia predicted that Suu Kyi will adopt a balanced approach to the foreign policies of the new administration, with the government reinforcing ties with China, Japan and the United States.

Suu Kyi was invited to Beijing last year for the first time, in her capacity as Myanmar's main opposition leader ahead of last year's elections.

During her trip, she met with President Xi Jinping. She also visited the Great Wall, tried her hand at calligraphy and also toured Beijing, Shanghai and Yunnan province, which shares a border with Myanmar.

Nine days after Suu Kyi's party won a landslide election victory, she told Xinhua News Agency that her memories of China date to her childhood.

Her mother took her to the Chinese embassy on social occasions, where she received a Chinese qipao as a gift. She said she cherishes the memory to this day.

Suu Kyi has welcomed foreign investment from all countries and has stressed that it is vital to gain the trust of Myanmar people to invest in the country.

She has also praised China's Belt and Road Initiative - proposed by Xi in 2013 - for reviving the ancient trade routes that span Asia, Africa and Europe.

Wang Xu contributed to this story.

(China Daily 04/06/2016 page3)

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