Myanmar president leaves on state visit to China

13:17, May 26, 2011      

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Myanmar President U Thein Sein left Nay Pyi Taw Thursday on a three-day state visit to China, aimed at furthering the two countries' friendly and cooperative ties as well as economic cooperation.

At the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Thein Sein's trip signifies his first to China after he assumed office as the president on March 30.

Seeing off the president at the Nay Pyi Taw airport were two Vice presidents -- U Tin Aung Myint Oo and Dr. Sai Mauk Kham and Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy Wang Zongying.

Accompanying U Thein Sein are about a dozen union government ministers and military leaders.

U Thein Sein's China tour came after the visits of Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in April and General Xu Caihou, Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission earlier in May.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar in 2010, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Myanmar in June, while former Myanmar top leader Senior- General Than Shwe paid a state visit to China in September.

During Wen's visit to Myanmar, the two countries signed 15 documents on cooperation covering areas such as a natural gas pipeline, hydropower station and grant aid.

According to Chinese official figures, China-Myanmar bilateral trade hit 4.44 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, a 53.2-percent increase over the previous year, with China standing the second largest trading partner of Myanmar.

The two countries' border trade amounted to 1.054 billion in the first seven months (April-November) of 2010-11, accounting for 83 percent of Myanmar's border trade, Myanmar official statistics also show.

Myanmar's export to China through border trade stood 567 million while its import from the neighbor was registered as 486 million.

In recent years, the two sides had expanded cooperation in hydropower, energy, mining, communications, fishery, manufacturing and infrastructure, and there had been frequent exchanges in culture, news and sports.

Source: Xinhua
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