Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Myanmar praises China for help against the West

DPA , YANGON

Myanmar's ruling junta yesterday hailed its close political and economic relations with China as an effective counterweight against Western efforts to isolate it.

A commentary published by the junta's mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, said last week's visit to China by Myanmar Prime Minister Khin Nyunt had been highlighted by the signing of 12 new agreements cementing the special relationship between them.

"As the People's Republic of China has taken a firm stand for Myanmar in the international affairs, so also, Myanmar has always stood by China, strictly adhering to the One China Policy," it said.

"At a time when the Western countries are applying pressure on Myanmar, with the political motives, China, being a true friend of Myanmar, always stands by Myanmar," it added.

Last week the US renewed its ban on trade with Myanmar for another year and called on other nations to keep applying pressure on the junta to end human-rights violations and free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Yangon.

Pressure is also being applied by the EU, which has threatened not to participate in meetings with ASEAN if the 10-member grouping insists on including Myanmar.

The commentary in the government-run newspaper said the delegation led by General Khin Nyunt succeeded in providing an effective Chinese response to Western pressure to reform, while opening up economic opportunities for both countries.

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