Myanmar’s State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi will tour China, days after the visit of the Myanmarese military chief as Beijing seeks to deepen ties with Naypyidaw, amid the Rohingya refugee crisis. While Beijing has not confirmed the visit, Myanmar’s state-run daily Global New Light today reported that Nobel laureate Suu Kyi who is facing criticism following a global outcry over the Rohingya crisis would visit China “soon”.
Asked about her visit, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is organising a global political dialogue from November 30 to December 3 on ‘Forging of Community for Shared Future for Mankind and the Responsibility of Political Parties’. Several leaders of political parties from different countries are expected to attend the meeting, he said. “The details of who is going to attend I am not aware,” Geng said.
Leaders from over 200 parties and political organisations from more than 120 countries are expected to attend the meeting, state-run Xinhua news agency had reported earlier. Suu Kyi’s visit to China comes close on the heels of Myanmarese military chief Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to Beijing last week during which he met President Xi Jinping besides top Chinese military officials.
The visits are taking place when Myanmar is facing severe global pressure over the plight of 600,000 Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine state in recent months after alleged atrocities by Myanmar’s military. China enjoyed longstanding and close ties with the Myanmar military for decades when Suu Kyi, as pro-democracy leader was under prolonged house arrest, and Beijing is seeking to play a mediatory role between Myanmar and Bangladesh to resolve the crisis.
Since her election, Suu Kyi too has made efforts to improve ties with China with her visits to Beijing earlier. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who recently visited both countries, proposed a three-point plan to deal with the crisis which included a ceasefire in Rakhine state. Meanwhile, both Myanmar and Bangladesh reached an agreement for steady repatriation of refugees though no time table has been set for its completion.
During his meeting with Hlaing on November 24, Xi said China pays great attention to the peace process in Myanmar, and is willing to play a constructive role in this regard for the security and stability in their border areas. Xi said the recent once-in-five-years Congress of the ruling CPC which endorsed a second term for him has adopted a blueprint for China’s economic and social reform and development in the years to come.
“It will not only inject great vitality into China’s own development, but also bring new opportunities for various countries, including Myanmar, in their cooperation with China,” he said.