US to Discuss Myanmar Issue With China

by VoiceNews 8 ธันวาคม 2554 เวลา 11:42 น.
US to Discuss Myanmar Issue With China

The United States will on Monday hold talk with China on the Myanmar issue, following last week's visit to Naypyidaw by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

Derek Mitchell, the US special envoy to Myanmar, is scheduled to visit Beijing on Monday and Tuesday during which he and top Chinese government officials will discuss the Myanmar issue, reported the AFP.

 

Mitchell will not arrive to China until he has taken a tour to South Korea on Thursday and proceeded to Japan on Friday. 

 

Clinton became the top US government official in more than half a century to visit Myanmar in bid to encourage democratic reforms by Naypyidaw  which had opened talks with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and heads of varied ethnic minorities.

 

Clinton insisted her landmark visit was not intended to challenge China though the US government was known to be looking to make its presence felt in the Asia and Pacific region.

 

Viewed as a long-time ally of China's, Myanmar has considerably relied on China as its major supporter.

However, Myanmar President Thein Sein made a big surprise when he recently suspended a Chinese-built dam project in Kachin state, which shares border with China. He said the construction of the hydropower dam will not be finished until he has stepped down in 2015.

 

Beijing reacted to Clinton’s Myanmar tour by calling on Washington to lift its economic sanctions against Myanmar - an urging which US government officials bluntly considered as premature without democratic reforms in the long-militarized state.

 

In addition to repeated calls for tangible reforms, Washington insisted Naypyidaw set free all political prisoners and put a lid on its ''hush-hush'' relations with North Korea which might seek to fulfil  Myanmar's alleged nuclear ambitions.

 

Suu Kyi who met with Clinton in Yangon said Naypyidaw would maintain “friendly relations” with China, regardless of the US diplomatic overture toward Myanmar, according to the AFP.

 

The Nobel Peace laureate is expected to contest by-elections in Myanmar alongside executive members of the National League for Democracy. The Myanmar government is yet to fix schedules for the by-elections to fill 48 MP seats left vacant in the country's states and regions.

 

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Saturday, Jul 26 2014