Interests of two peoples at the fore front

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Myanmar and China are linked by geography, history, ethnicity, culture and economy. The very long history of coexistence and interaction between the two countries makes their bilateral relations highly complex. The two countries have enjoyed cordial relations since time immemorial. Myanmar’s location on the tri-junction of South Asia, Southeast Asia and China is potentially important for China to achieve its strategic presence in the Indian Ocean and hence become a two-ocean power. Economically, too, Myanmar is important for China as a trading outlet to the Indian Ocean for its landlocked inland provinces of Yunnan and other southern parts of China.
When Western governments began imposing sanctions on Myanmar after 1988 and 1990, China became the prime source of support and protection for the county in the international community, realizing that the country already matters to it as a crucial neighbour.
At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid an official visit to China from 17th to 21st August 2016. During the visit, both sides had a good discussion and exchanged views on various spheres with their reaffirmation to put the interests of the two peoples at the fore front high on the agenda.
Most importantly, both sides agreed to promote rule of law in the border areas, and to enhance trade, economic cooperation and various forms of friendly exchanges that would contribute to the well-being of the peoples, ushering in a period of prosperity. That’s a major departure in the universal thinking as the country is on the receiving end of many internal complaints over Myitsone Project currently being suspended.
With the new government in place, the international community is rather well disposed to provide necessary support and there is much less taste to exert pressure. At such a crucial juncture, the two countries have to be bold in promoting the need of realistic and pragmatic politics while remain relevant in all regional and international cooperation frameworks.

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