Wu stresses smooth investments, border stability at Myanmar visit

Updated: 2012-09-14 03:40

By Zhu Zhe in Nay Pyi Taw (chinadaily.com.cn)

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China's top legislator on Thursday urged Myanmarto take active measures both to ensure that major local projects with Chinese investments progress smoothly, and that stability is maintained at its border with China.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee proposed at a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Thura U Shwe Mann of Myanmar, that the two nations exchange views on bilateral ties and on major issues of mutual concern in a timely manner.

Wu said active measures should be taken to deepen economic and trade cooperation and boost confidence in investments by entrepreneurs from both sides. The progress of some major projects in Myanmar, such as a jointly launched oil and gas pipeline project, should be ensured, he said.

Economic and trade cooperation between China and Myanmarhave been growing steadily in recent years. In 2011, bilateral trade between the two countries totaled $6.5 billion, up 46.3 percent year-on-year, according to Chinese government figures.

China led in foreign trade and foreign investments in Myanmar, reaching $20.26 billion by the end of last year, official figures show.

However, some projects with Chinese investments have encountered problems. Last September, Myanmar suspended construction of its largest hydropower project - a $3.6 billion Chinese-led dam project in Myitsone - citing complaints from local residents and opposition parties. The future of the project has not been settled.

At Thursday's meeting, Wu also said China hopes that Myanmar will solve some border area problems through negotiations and talks. He said China is willing to join hands with Myanmar on border management to ensure stability.

Thura U Shwe Mann said he fully agreed with Wu's remarks. He said Myanmar would like to strengthen friendly governmental exchanges with China at all levels.

He said Myanmar will push forward its cooperation with China in various sectors, especially in investment, trade and major projects.

Wu arrived in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday to start his good will visit to Myanmar, a reciprocal visit for that of Thura U Shwe Mann's visit to China in February this year.

Wu is the most senior Chinese leader to visit Myanmar in nearly a decade. He is the first NPC Standing Committee chairman to visit Myanmar since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1950.

Wu said since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the ties between China and Myanmar have withstood the test of international vicissitudes and have continued to move forward, setting an example for state-to-state relations between countries of different social systems.

Last year when Myanmar President U Thein Sein visited China and met with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, the two leaders decided to establish a comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership between China and Myanmar.

Wu proposed on Thursday that an action plan for such a partnership should be drafted and implemented, and frequent and reciprocal visits of the leaders of the two countries should continue.

Contact the writer at zhuzhe@chinadaily.com.cn