Support for Myanmar

Updated: 2012-01-06 09:21

(China Daily)

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As a friendly neighbor of Myanmar, China attaches great importance to the healthy progress of bilateral relations, and pays close attention to developments in Myanmar.

Over the past year, the Myanmar government has carried forward a series of reformist moves, the most remarkable of which has been the approval for Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party to reregister as a political party for future elections.

Myanmar's leaders have reiterated that there will be no turning back and China hopes the country will enjoy political stability and social progress, and takes a welcoming attitude to enhanced contacts between Myanmar and the West, including the United States.

China supports Myanmar pursuing a development path that is suited to its national conditions, and appreciates the Myanmar government's endeavor to promote domestic political reconciliation and improve foreign relations.

Unfortunately, it is still uncertain whether the West will lift its long-standing sanctions against Myanmar.

Instead of sanctions, the international community should focus on providing Myanmar with constructive assistance and create a nurturing environment for its national reconciliation, democracy and development.

Some Western observers seem intent on portraying China as an obstacle to these positive changes. They claim China has been making use of the West's sanctions to expand its investment in Myanmar, and it "fears" it will be elbowed out in the wake of Myanmar's improved external environment.

Such accusations are a malicious distortion of the truth.

China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and mutual benefit, and has never handcuffed the development of its ties with Myanmar to so-called opportunities created by Western sanctions.

Myanmar's prosperity and stability is in line with the fundamental interests of its people, and helps promote regional development and the integration process of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The positive changes in Myanmar have increased its attractiveness to foreign investors, including Chinese companies, which are more than capable of competing with their foreign peers.

With respect to Myanmar's development, China has always taken a constructive and responsible approach.

While investing in Myanmar, Chinese companies pay attention to the interests of local people, take the initiative to repay society, and deliver compensations in a timely manner. They not only bring job opportunities, but also help local people build schools and homes.

It is only natural that the Chinese government keeps a watchful eye on the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies operating in Myanmar.

(China Daily 01/06/2012 page8)