China, Myanmar to build closer community with shared future

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CCTV+BATIE GHAR (巴铁之家)China will take the opportunity of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Myanmar to intensify efforts to build an even closer community with shared future, said a China Media Group (CMG) commentary on Thursday.

The following is a translation of the article:

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to start his first overseas tour of 2020 on Friday and pay a two-day state visit to Myanmar. This is the second time in 19 years that a Chinese president visits Myanmar.

Ahead of his state visit, Xi had his signed article published in a number of mainstream media outlets in Myanmar. In the article, Xi highly praises the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries from the perspective of political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, and cultural exchanges. He urged the two sides to work side by side in building an even closer China-Myanmar community with a shared future and write a new chapter in the annals of the millennial-old “Pauk-Phaw” friendship.

President Xi put forward a four-point proposal for developing the China-Myanmar relations in the new era.

First, the two sides should strengthen strategic communication and draw up a new blueprint for the development of the bilateral relations.

China and Myanmar are close neighbors with shared mountains and rivers and a borderline of more than 2,000 kilometers. In May 2011, China and Myanmar established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. At present, the two countries have frequent high-level exchanges, and the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has continued to develop steadily. China and Myanmar firmly support each other in addressing core interests and major concerns. China proposes to deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership from the strategic and long-term perspective so as to make the the sense of “community with shared future” take roots in the hearts of the two peoples. That will help lay a solid political foundation for promoting China-Myanmar comprehensive cooperation.

Second, China and Myanmar should inject a new impetus to the mutually beneficial cooperation by deepening trade and economic exchanges.

China is Myanmar’s biggest trading partner as well as the most important investment partner. In 2019, China’s import from Myanmar reached 44.01 billion yuan, a significant year-on-year increase of 42.8 percent. After China proposed the Belt and Road initiative, Myanmar has actively and positively responded. Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi visited China twice for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and led Myanmar to establish a steering committee for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, demonstrating her willingness to strengthen practical cooperation with China.

As an important drivers of the Belt and Road cooperation, China and Myanmar reached a consensus on jointly building the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) in December 2017. The two countries have made successive progress in a number of pillar projects such as the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline, the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, and the China-Myanmar Border Economic Cooperation Zone, which have provided important opportunities for the local socio-economic development. Myanmar had by the end of November last year had direct economic gains of 520 million U.S. dollars from the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline project.

In his article, President Xi urges the two sides to bring the conceptual stage of the economic corridor to a substantial planning and implementing stage, deepen the pragmatic cooperation in Internet connection, power and other energy, and communications and transport so as to make the cooperation benefit more people.

In the history of 2,000 years of friendly exchanges, the Chinese and Myanmar people have forged profound friendship. With the further development of China-Myanmar relations, the people-to-people exchanges will become even more active, and exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, art, archeology and other fields will yield fruitful results.

Fourth, the two sides should make progress in promoting regional peace and stability by enhancing coordination and cooperation.

Myanmar is an important member of the ASEAN. In recent years, China and Myanmar have maintained good cooperation under the China-ASEAN, Lanchang-Mekong Cooperation and other mechanisms. What merits attention is that in the face of rising unilateralism and hegemonism, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that China and Myanmar jointly advanced more than 60 years ago are of important and practical significance. China and Myanmar should continue their efforts to strengthen cooperation within the framework of multilateral mechanisms and contribute to building a new type of international relations of mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar. It fully reflects the importance China attaches to China-Myanmar relations that the Chinese leader chose Myanmar as the first stop of his foreign tour in the new year. The people of various circles in Myanmar are eagerly looking forward to President Xi’s visit.

With the deepening of bilateral cooperation in various fields, the China-Myanmar relations in the new era will definitely yield more benefits to the two peoples and inject a positive impetus into the peaceful regional development and the building of a community with shared future.

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