Chinese media mark Suu Kyi’s visit

18 August 2016
Chinese media mark Suu Kyi’s visit
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, departs from Yangon International Airport to Kumming airport via Beijing in China, on 17 August 2016. Photo: Myanmar State Counsellor Office

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi began her official visit to China on Wednesday. The trip comes just before a September visit to the U.S. Chinese media reported that the visit was an important event for bilateral cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.
“Welcome Aung Sun Suu Kyi”, ran the editorial on China’s famous news site Pengpai (The Paper) before Suu Kyi’s 5-day visit.
The article emphasised that China's total investment in the country accounted for 40% of the total foreign investment in Myanmar. “The cooperation between the two countries will have wide prospects in the future”.
The article further noted that China and Myanmar have the same interests in the field of development of transportation infrastructure in Myanmar.  “The lack of infrastructure in Myanmar causes high logistics costs and influences economic development, investment and export costs. For China, Yunnan and other western regions are underdeveloped. Expanding trade cooperation with Myanmar can also bring China more room for development.”
When it comes to the issue of the Myitsone Dam, the article says that China has excess electricity and the project is mainly to help Myanmar increase power generation. But the Myitsone Dam also brings new prospects for Myanmar-China future cooperation but it is vital to respect the local people’s opinion on the location, scale, land acquisition and other aspects of the project.
In addition, the author hopes that China can change the fact that currently large investment projects only concentrate on energy, which has led to much criticism in Myanmar. “Our investments can also turn to agriculture, textiles, processing and manufacturing, tourism and other industries which are welcomed by Myanmar people”.
Compared with Pengpai, Global Times, one of the official media in China, was more concerned about the significance of Myanmar’s diplomatic relations with China.
“From a pro-Western opposition leader to a state leader who has to shoulder governance responsibility, Suu Kyi has to face up to all the issues now confronting Myanmar. Instead of pursuing a good reputation granted by the West, she has to lead the country to success. Her legacy will largely be shaped by whether Myanmar can shake off poverty and achieve national reconciliation.”
In an editorial titled ‘Suu Kyi visit heralds better ties with China,’ Global Times points to the change in the image of Suu Kyi after she came to power. Chinese media had been careful in reporting on Suu Kyi before she took office because of her pro-Western democratic image.
“China is not pursuing exclusive relationships with its neighbours. We should also understand that they must seek a balance between major powers. As long as Sino-US ties are not a repeat of US-Soviet ties, there won't be a repeat of the ideological mania of the Cold War era. A Suu Kyi-led Myanmar will pay keen attention to its ties with the US and the Western world. China's importance to Myanmar will be determined by China's status in the world and its strength.” The editorial said.