The Chinese supreme leader concluded a state visit to Myanmar cementing the ties between the two neighboring countries. He also visited Chinese troops stationed in a Chinese province next to Myanmar.
Sino-Myanmar oil & gas pipelines to bypass the South China Sea
Myanmar’s value to China lies in its location. It offers a short-cut for Chinese oil shipping from the Middle East to avoid Malacca Strait and the disputed South China Sea.
Before the commission of the oil pipeline in 2017, about four-fifths of China’s imported crude oil must pass through the Strait of Malacca. The China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline can bypass the Malacca Strait from the Middle East, and transport it directly from Myanmar to China by land.
Beijing has been worried that China’s energy imports are overly dependent on the Malacca Strait. In addition to local rampant piracy, the Chinese government is concerned that the US Navy could easily cut off China’s energy supply if Sino-US relations are strained.
Building a community with a shared future for mankind
The Chinese officials and experts have hailed its president’s state visit as “historic” and “a landmark”.
The two countries agreed to jointly build a China-Myanmar community with a shared future and highlighted their strengthened partnership in a wide range of fields, including politics, economics, culture and people-to-people exchanges, as well as in regional and international affairs, according to a joint statement released on Saturday.
Myanmar’s participation in “a community with a shared future” led by China is a “big deal” and giant leap for Myanmar to take, because it is the second country after Laos to forge such a close tie with China.
China is offering Myanmar much needed support when Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is under criticism internationally for Rohingya genocide in Rakhine state, which killed thousands and exiled over 730,000.
Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said, “China’s support is not out of self-interest, but to defend fairness and justice.” “I hope that China will continue to preach justice for small and medium-sized countries such as Myanmar on international occasions.” “Share more country management experience with developing countries such as Myanmar”, “Thank China for its understanding and support on issues such as Rakhine State”, “Thank China for its constructive role in the domestic peace process in Myanmar”.
Myanmar and China signed 33 bilateral agreements including rail and deep-sea port projects along an economic corridor linking China’s south-western interior to the Indian Ocean.
Myanmar is already part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative global infrastructure plan.
Myanmar’s neighboring country India is very concerned about China’s increasing presence in that region.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry pushed back against a joint statement between Beijing and Myanmar that categorized Taiwan as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China’s territory.
Chinese President’s New Year Message to the Chinese Military
According to China State Media, the Chinese President urged the Chinese military on Monday to strive this year to realize its goals and missions given by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people.
“We are determined to build a moderately prosperous society and eradicate absolute poverty before the end of this year. We also aim to achieve the goals set for our national defense system and the People’s Liberation Army this year. There are numerous tough tasks for us to do,” said Chinese President, who also is general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
“I hope you stick to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, uphold the Party’s thought on strengthening the military, and implement military strategies in the new era. … You must enhance the sense of mission, be focused on improving your capabilities, make sure all of your jobs are fully done, and unswervingly complete the goals set by the Party and the people.”
The president made the remarks on Monday in Kunming, capital of southwestern China’s Yunnan province, as he met with officers from military units in the province.
He said troops in Yunnan performed well in terms of implementing the instructions from the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, and he praised them for steadily moving forward toward their goals and completing their tasks with outstanding results.
The troops made remarkable contributions to the protection of sovereignty, national security and development interests as well as to economic and social development in Yunnan, according to Chinese President.
When addressing the officers during the meeting, Chinese President offered his best wishes for the coming Spring Festival to all members of the PLA, the People’s Armed Police Force, the reserve forces and the militia.
On Sunday, Chinese President inspected a border defense battalion in Yunnan. He checked the troops’ living conditions and chatted with soldiers.
Video clips broadcast by China Central Television showed that Chinese President visited a squad’s dorm, the battalion’s medical room, and its kitchen. He checked the cooked meals and examined the freshness of vegetables.
During the tour, the president also held a teleconference with soldiers from a landmine clearance unit and a border patrol squad, and encouraged them to honor their duties.
Also on Sunday, the president visited a village of the Wa ethnic group in Tengchong, a city in Yunnan.
He stressed the need to promote rural vitalization and address problems including the imbalance between urban and rural development after China constructs a moderately prosperous society.
Chinese President told the villagers that efforts should be made to develop rural industries, improve the rural economy, increase incomes and improve people’s livelihoods.
He also extended Lunar New Year greetings to the villagers, and beat a wooden drum three times, in accordance with local customs, to wish favorable weather for bumper harvests, peace for the country and the people, and peace for the whole world.