Interview: Pushing forward China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership development imperative: ambassador

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming official visit to Myanmar is the first for the country by a Chinese premier since the new term government was established and is significantly important to promoting China-Myanmar friendship and pushing forward a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the eve of the East Asia Summit.

Yang said Li's presence at the upcoming series of leaders' meetings in Myanmar on East Asia Cooperation is of great importance to pushing East Asia regional cooperation and maintaining its peaceful and stable situation.

The ambassador said China-Myanmar relations have entered a new historic era, maintaining a positive pattern of development.

In 2011, China and Myanmar established the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership and in 2013, the two countries signed the Plan of Action on its implementation, covering sectors of politics, economy, culture, security, international and regional affairs and becoming a roadmap guiding the future development of relations.

The two countries maintain exchanges at a high level with deepened development of friendly exchanges between political parties, parliaments, armed forces and civil societies, Yang said.

Mutual supplementation of superiority of China and Myanmar is apparent.

With China as Myanmar's main trading partner and source of overseas investment, the prospects of the two countries' mutually beneficial cooperation are optimistic.

China and Myanmar have cultural similarities with rich achievements obtained through friendly exchange such as socio- cultural education, welcoming of the conveyance of Chinese Buddha Tooth Relic to Myanmar for paying homage on several occasions.

The successful hosting of the 27th Southeast Asian Games and the 7th ASEAN Para Games have become a bright spot for the two countries' cultural and sports cooperation.

Speaking of China-Myanmar economic and trade cooperation, Yang said at present, there are many sectors in which Chinese enterprises are making investment cooperation which cover technological products, infrastructure industry, information, health, transport, agriculture, logistics and culture.

Not only are there such win-win project such as the China- Myanmar oil and natural gas pipeline, but also there are farming and infrastructure industries that directly benefit people's daily lives.

He said China and Myanmar have a strong relationship of mutual supplementation and vast cooperation potential, as well as broad development prospects.

The mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation brings practical interest to the two sides and conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples.

In 2013, trade between China and Myanmar amounted to 10.15 billion U.S. dollars which stands in contrast from the data of 2003.

In the first nine months of 2014, bilateral trade value reached 17.75 billion dollars, and increase of 185.1 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

China stands the first largest trade partner, first import market and second export market of Myanmar with 30 percent of its overseas trade being China-Myanmar trade last year.

Myanmar is also one of the important foreign countries for overseas investment targeted by Chinese enterprises.

As of the end of 2013, Chinese mainland companies' accumulatively negotiated an investment showing of 14.37 billion U. S. dollars, accounting for 32.5 percent of Myanmar's total overseas investment and standing as Myanmar's first hugely significant influx of overseas investment.

The Chinese ambassador said after Myanmar's political and economic transformation, the development of China-Myanmar economic and trade ties are also faced with new challenges coming from both external and internal sources.

In face of these, he said, Chinese enterprises investing in Myanmar are continuously raising their capability to cope with complicated situations, seriously studying and respecting Myanmar' s socio-culture, laws and policy, while effectively undertaking social responsibility.

On the other hand, they are also striving to strengthen public dissemination raising their projects' degree of transparency.

Yang believes that along with the continuous deepening of Myanmar's reform, the investment environment would become riper and riper and Chinese enterprises will also be better integrated into local society, so that the future prospects of cooperation would develop in a positive direction, bringing wealth to the people of both countries.

Citing a popular Chinese saying, "Hope for relative's well- being, Hope for neighbor's well-being," Yang said China hopes to see a peaceful, stable, developed and prosperous, as well as a friendly Myanmar.

In anticipation of the future, he said, China-Myanmar relations are faced with development opportunities which were previously unavailable.

Firstly, the Chinese government places neighboring countries as its top priority in its foreign policy, and strives for China's development to better benefit surrounding countries and enhance the joint development of China with them.

Secondly, the positive achievement of Myanmar's domestic transformation and national reconciliation would provide a broader space and prospects for the two countries' cooperation.

Thirdly, the daily closer cultural cooperation serves as a good public opinion basis for sharing the two peoples' friendship.

Fourthly, as China and Myanmar are joint advocators of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the two countries hold a similar and close stance over several international and regional issues and have, as always, maintained effective communication and coordination.

Yang stressed against the backdrop of the current complicated and deepening change of international situations, further strengthening of China-Myanmar Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership is significantly important to safeguarding the two countries' interests and enhancement of world and regional peace and development.

[ Editor: Fanhua ]