Wen Jiabao to meet with Myanmar junta leaders

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao will meet with leaders of Myanmar`s junta to discuss energy cooperation.

Updated: May 26, 2010, 20:45 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao will meet with leaders of Myanmar`s junta to discuss
energy cooperation and aid to the southeast Asian nation
during a visit next week, a top diplomat said Wednesday.

During the June 2-3 visit, Wen will hold talks with
reclusive junta chief General Than Shwe, Prime Minister Thein
Sein and other top officials, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang
Zhijun told reporters.

"The two countries will sign a number of cooperation
documents covering economy, trade, finance, energy, science
and technology," Zhang said, without offering specifics.

Last year, bilateral trade between the neighbours
reached USD 2.91 billion, up 10.7 per cent year-on-year, as
progress was made in joint projects involving energy,
transportation and power supply, Zhang said.

China is the isolated state`s sole major ally on the
diplomatic stage and one of its key trading partners.

Energy-hungry China is an eager buyer of Myanmar`s
sizeable natural gas reserves and has in the past tried to
shield its ruling junta from international sanctions imposed
over its poor human rights record.

"We will offer help to Myanmar, to help it grow its
economy and improve the well-being of its people," Zhang said.

"We will offer assistance as our ability permits to
the national development of Myanmar, particularly in those
areas that will benefit the general public, such as transport
and education."

PTI