Yangon: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday told
Myanmar's junta chief that his visit to the military-ruled
country saw an improvement in ties between the neighbours,
state media reported.
Wen made the comments during a meeting with Senior
General Than Shwe on his three-day trip, which comes ahead of
Myanmar's elections later this year and is the first by a
Chinese prime minister to the country in 16 years.
"Wen Jiabao said here on Thursday that the consensus and
agreements reached with Myanmar during his visit marked a step
forward in their bilateral ties," Chinese news agency Xinhua
The two countries were expected to sign contracts,
including ones related to the energy sector and hydropower
projects, a Myanmar official earlier told agency.
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 arrived in Yangon yesterday afternoon amid tight
security for what the state-controlled New Light of Myanmar
newspaper said was a "goodwill visit".
First Published: Thursday, June 03, 2010, 18:12