China and Myanmar are close neighbors, linked by mountains and rivers, with a common border of over 2,000 kilometers enjoying a long-standing friendship.
The earliest exchange between them dates back to the 4th century BC. Since ancient times, the Myanmar people have called the Chinese "paukphaw" -- "full brothers."
The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1950. For half a century since then, their cooperation in politics, economy, culture, education has been developing continuously, based on the five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence jointly advocated by both sides despite the great changes that have taken place in the international situation.
Both China and Myanmar belong to the developing nations, sharing an extensive common view on many major issues. In international affairs, they support each other and coordinate closely, becoming trustful cooperative partners.
China has always respected Myanmar's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity while Myanmar has stuck to the "One China" policy, supporting China's reunification cause.
There have been frequent exchange of visits between their leaders. The late Premier of China Zhou Enlai made nine visits to Myanmar, while the late former Myanmar leader U Ne Win went to China on 12 occasions.
During the past few years, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Vice-President Hu Jintao, and other Chinese leaders visited Myanmar. On their part, leaders of Myanmar including SPDC Chairman and Prime Minister Senior General Than Shwe, SPDC Vice-Chairman Vice-Senior General Maung Aye and others toured China several times.
Sino-Myanmar bilateral economic and technical cooperation has also made rich achievements. They have successively signed a number of agreements on economic cooperation, according to which, China has extended to Myanmar a great deal of assistance in projects of agriculture, industry, transport, electric power, education, health and human resources development.
Meanwhile, the two countries have also launched various forms of technical cooperation, based on the principles of equity, mutual benefit and mutual supplement of superiorities. Chinese companies have initiated a large number of projects in Myanmar, setting up factories in the form of whole investment or joint ventures, covering as many sectors as oil and gas exploitation andprocessing of forest and marine products.
China-Myanmar bilateral trade stands an important position in their foreign trade. During the past eight years, bilateral trade including border trade reached over 600 million US dollars annually, accounting for 12 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade.
Further development of China-Myanmar friendly and cooperative ties not only conforms to the fundamental benefit of the two countries but is also beneficial to peace, stability and development of the region.
Vice-Premier of the State Council of China Li Lanqing will pay a four-day goodwill visit to Myanmar from Tuesday at the invitation of First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) General Khin Nyunt.
His visit will be another important tour to the country made bythe Chinese leadership, bound to further the development of the bilateral ties.