China willing to strengthen military ties with Myanmar through mutual cooperation

Mynamar leader Aung San Suu Kyi thanks China for its initiative in the peace process of Myanmar.

The Chinese military told Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, that they are willing to strengthen its ties with Myanmar through greater cooperation and increasing the number of exchanges, state media said on Saturday.

Ever since the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's government came to power in April, China has been on a diplomatic offensive. It is aiming to counterfeit good ties with Myanmar.

When Suu Kyi visited China last month, President Xi Jinping told her that he wants to ensure the "correct direction" of relations.

Xinhua, the state news agency reported that Xu Qiliang, a vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told Kyi that China "highly values the friendly cooperation between the two countries".

During a meeting in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar on Friday Xu said, "China firmly upholds a friendly policy towards Myanmar and supports Myanmar's national reconciliation process."

"Xu mentioned Aung San Suu Kyi's recent trip to China, during which she reached consensus with the Chinese leadership on further enhancing the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Myanmar," the news agency added.

Xu said China will play a constructive role in pushing Myanmar's peace process forward. It hopes that the two countries can work together and maintain peace and stability on their border.

In August, Suu Kyi launched a major step to end the decade-long fighting between the military and myriad rebel groups. At times, this conflict spilled into China and has seen refugees pushed across the border.

Xinhua reported Suu Kyi saying that mutual understanding, enhancing friendship and trust are very important for both the countries. She also thanked China for its initiative in the peace process of Myanmar.

Initially, China had a good relationship with the former military-run government of Myanmar. It also looked on to its democratisation process. Beijing has been continuously pushing Myanmar to resume work on the Chinese-invested $3.6-billion Myitsone dam project at the confluence of two northern rivers in the Ayeyarwady river basin.

Ninety per cent power of the Myitsone dam project was originally planned to have gone to China. But then in 2011, President Thein Sein, who was then the ruler, suspended the work on the dam over environmental protests. This infuriated China and the close bond resulted in a conflict.