Myanmar: A Welcome From China
Published: November 28, 2011
Vice President Xi Jinping of China welcomed the leader of Myanmar’s military on Monday in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and called for closer military ties between the countries, in what appeared to be a response to the visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Myanmar later this week.
Mr. Xi, the heir apparent to President Hu Jintao, met Min Aung Hliang, the commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s military, and said that China would “work with Myanmar to further bolster the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation,” according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.
Myanmar has been a close ally of China for decades, as Mr. Xi also pointed out. But new leaders in Myanmar have begun to tolerate some political freedom and have started mending ties with the West, prompting President Obama’s decision to send Mrs. Clinton there.
Myanmar and China share a long and often porous border, and Chinese companies have built dams, pipelines, highways and other big projects in Myanmar for many years, even as most Western governments and companies shunned the country because of its human rights abuses.