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News Analysis: Economic cooperation tops Suu Kyi’s China visit agenda

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    17:41, August 17, 2016

The visit to China of Myanmar's first State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has drawn much attention in recent days. Analysts have even hailed Suu Kyi’s visit as an important milestone, saying that it will contribute to future economic development, national security and regional cooperation.

The Myanmar government needs to balance its relations with major countries and adopt a more multifaceted method of diplomacy so that it can maintain sustainable security and development, said He Maochun, director of the Center for Economic Diplomacy at Tsinghua University.

He also explained that, as the country needs to revive its economy and increase employment, it can benefit from economic cooperation with China as well as ASEAN countries through the Belt and Road Initiative and other sectors. He hailed Suu Kyi's visit to China as being of great importance, saying that it can cement economic cooperation, friendship and mutual trust between the two countries.

Myanmar has long suffered from issues related to independence, separatism and regional autonomy. As a country that understands the importance of national stability, China hopes to one day see a peaceful and unified Myanmar, the analyst said. Fortunately, sound ties between Myanmar and China will contribute to unification and harmony in Myanmar. China hopes to establish various cooperative policies with Myanmar in order to promote border stability and connectivity, according to He.

He also said that China’s success at diplomacy has been proven through its relations with both Myanmar and the Philippines. The new Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, also adopted an independent diplomatic policy, as the country does not want to be the victim of games between major powers.

The expert also provided an analysis from the angle of regional cooperation. According to He, China-ASEAN cooperation has brought tangible benefits to ASEAN countries, which is an important reason for ASEAN's rapid recovery after the financial crisis. With cooperation in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other fields, China is now an essential partner for developing ASEAN countries. The scholar nevertheless called on China and ASEAN to continue enhancing their mutual trust and communications, strengthen their cooperation and safeguard regional stability. He suggested that China increase its aid to less developed ASEAN countries.

Commenting on Suu Kyi’s China visit, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shinbun said that China, as a major trade partner of Myanmar, offers cooperation that is indispensable to the smaller nation.

U.S.-based Jamestown Foundation hailed Suu Kyi's practical diplomacy, saying that the Suu Kyi administration will welcome China's mutually beneficial investment.

Myanmar Times, one of Myanmar’s most important media outlets, also noted that the recent visit reveals the importance Myanmar attaches to its relationship with China, one of its largest trading partner. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor: Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

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