State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is heading off to China in the week that Pope Francis is visiting her country, officials told state media.
The state-run daily 'Global New Light of Myanmar ' said Aung San Suu Kyi would “soon” depart to attend a Communist Party of China-hosted forum of world political leaders in Beijing.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s spokesman Zaw Htay could not be reached for more details, but the meeting begins on Thursday and runs until Dec. 3, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.
Her visit comes just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese military leaders welcomed Myanmar’s powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing last week and pledged closer cooperation.
Myanmar has had to reckon with huge pressure from Western nations over its military response to August attacks on security posts by Rohingya terrorists in Rakhine state.
The United States and the United Nations have accused Myanmar of “ethnic cleansing” and called for the military to be held accountable over allegations of killings, rape and arson that sent more than 620,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.
China, however, has backed what Myanmar officials call a legitimate counter-insurgency operation in Rakhine, and stepped in to prevent a resolution on the crisis at the U.N. Security Council.