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Xi's Myanmar visit to consolidate 'Paukphaw' friendship

By Lu Rui | Xinhua | Updated: 2020-01-11 10:40
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People visit the Myanmar pavilion at the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov 8, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

In 1950, Myanmar established diplomatic ties with China. Now, 70 years later, bilateral ties are embracing a new opportunity for development as Chinese President Xi Jinping is to pay a state visit to the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 17-18.

As Xi's first overseas tour in 2020, as well as his first trip to Myanmar as the Chinese head of state, the visit is a testimony to China's resolve to boost the two nations' "Paukphaw" (fraternal) friendship, forge stronger ties with its close neighbor and contribute to building a shared future of development and prosperity in the region.

As neighboring countries, China and Myanmar share a border of around 2,200 km and have a long history of people-to-people exchanges.

In 1954, leaders of China, Myanmar and India initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the spirit of which has become a worldwide consensus. The steady development of China-Myanmar ties is a demonstration of how to follow the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in others' internal affairs, mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

In recent years, China has maintained good momentum for high-level contact and consolidated political mutual trust with the Southeast Asian country. Xi has met on several occasions with Myanmar's leaders, with important consensus being reached on advancing the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era.

China has, as always, attached great importance to promoting common development with its neighboring nations on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

Meanwhile, Myanmar gives priority to enhancing its ties with China. In 2016, soon after taking office as Myanmar's state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi chose China as the first country to visit outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Being economically complementary, China has become Myanmar's largest trading partner and important source of foreign investment, as bilateral economic and trade cooperation continue to deepen.

A top priority for the Myanmar government is to drive economic growth and improve people's well-being. China is more than willing to share its experience and know-how in combating poverty and building infrastructure, in an effort to promote win-win cooperation and seek common development with its neighbors.

The two neighbors are actively facilitating mutually beneficial projects, including oil and gas pipelines, port construction within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and accelerating the development of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

It is in the fundamental interests of both countries to enhance China-Myanmar brotherly bonds and seek practical cooperation, which in turn will contribute to building a shared future in the Asia-Pacific region. As the old Chinese proverb goes, "A good neighbor is better than a far-dwelling relative."

Against the backdrop of wide-ranging global challenges and uncertainties worldwide, it is China's unswerving commitment to work with its neighbors to safeguard regional stability and bring positive energy to the drive towards building an open world economy.

In the new year, the two nations are now ready to fulfil their full potential for mutually beneficial cooperation and make greater contributions to regional development and prosperity.

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