Chinese PM in Myanmar ahead of rare elections

Wen Jiabao arrived in Yangon on Wednesday for a two-day visit, marking the first trip to military-ruled Myanmar by a Chinese Prime Minister in 16 years.

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2010, 16:12 PM IST

Yangon: Wen Jiabao arrived in Yangon on Wednesday
for a two-day visit, marking the first trip to military-ruled
Myanmar by a Chinese Prime Minister in 16 years.

Wen arrived at Yangon International Airport amid tight
security, ahead of Myanmar`s first elections in two decades,
scheduled for later this year.

The two countries are expected to sign contracts,
including ones related to the energy sector and hydropower
projects, a Myanmar official said.

China is the junta`s key ally and trade partner, and
an eager investor in the isolated state`s sizeable natural
resources. In November its top oil producer began construction
of a pipeline across Myanmar.

But ties between the two countries frayed last August
when fighting between Myanmar`s isolated ruling junta and
rebel ethnic armies in the remote northeast drove tens of
thousands of refugees into China.

Analysts said Beijing would be concerned about further
instability on its Western border and that the issue was
likely to come up at the talks during Wen`s visit.

Wen was due to attend a ceremony at a school before
visiting the famed Shwedagon Pagoda. Tomorrow he was expected
to go to administrative capital Naypyidaw to meet Senior
General Than Shwe and other senior military officials.

PTI