Wednesday, June 17, 2009

China wants stability in Burma: Xi

by Salai Pi Pi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – China’s Vice President Xi Jinping has conveyed to the visiting Burmese Vice-Senior General Maung Aye his country’s willingness to help military-ruled Burma achieve stability and prosperity, according to China’s official media.

Xi during his meeting with Burma’s number two military strongman Maung Aye on Tuesday, said China valued good-neighbourly relations with Burma, which has been maintained for the last six decades, a report by Xinhua said.

“He [Xi] stressed that the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were the cornerstone of China's diplomacy, and as a good neighbour, China hoped Myanmar would overcome difficulties to achieve stability and prosperity,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Sino-Burma border based observer on Wednesday said, Xi’s expression of ‘stability and prosperity’ is unclear and does not indicate what China wants to see as a state of stability in the military-ruled country.

“The words ‘stability and prosperity’ could mean a lot. It could also mean stability under military rule or stability through national reconciliation into transition to a democratic government,” Aung Kyaw Zaw pointed out.

“If China really wants to see national reconciliation in Burma, words are not enough, actions need to follow,” he added.

Aung Kyaw Zaw further analysed that Maung Aye’s visit might also include other agendas such as seeking China’s help in tackling the Sino-Burma border based ethnic armed ceasefire groups.

A few ceasefire groups including the United Wa State Army (UWSA) have recently rejected the regime’s proposal to transform their army into a “border guard’ force.

Besides others things, the two leaders also reiterated their commitments to continue on-going economic and investment projects, which they had agreed on earlier.

According to the China Securities Journal on Monday, the China National Petroleum Corp. will begin constructing oil and natural gas pipelines which will connect Southern China with the seaport in western Burma, in September.

The proposed US$ 2 billion project will help transport petroleum from the Middle East and Africa to China and gas from the Southeast Asian country to China, the report said.

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