Xi Jinping-Aung San Suu Kyi
Xi Jinping and Aung San Suu Kyi. Image credit - Twitter

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday signed 33 agreements with an aim to develop massive infrastructural projects.

As per reports, the two leaders agreed to hasten the implementation of the China Myanmar Economic Corridor and a giant infrastructure scheme worth billions of dollars.

China and Myanmar also signed agreements for the development of railways linking southwestern China to the Indian Ocean, a deep sea-port in conflict-riven Rakhine state.

Agreements were also signed for a special economic zone on the border, and a new city project in the commercial capital of Yangon.

The agreements were signed with an aim to speed up projects that are a part of the flagship Belt and Road Initiative, a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to boost economic ties with a number of countries.

Jinping arrived on a two-day visit to Myanmar on Friday.

He also said China and Myanmar are working for the development of good relations among them.

“We are drawing a future roadmap that will bring to life bilateral relations based on brotherly and sisterly closeness in order to overcome hardships together and provide assistance to each other,” Xi said.

Suu Kyi called China “a great country playing an important role in the international affairs and the world economy” but urged for economic projects that avoid environmental degradation and benefit locals.

According to analysts, Myanmar was generally cautious of investments by Beijing and was also being careful ahead of elections later this year.

Historically, China and Myanmar have had a fraught relationship, but they have moved closer since 2017 when Myanmar was internationally condemned for its treatment of minority Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.

Over 730,000 Rohingyas were compelled to flee western Myanmar after a military crackdown that the United Nations has said was executed with “genocidal intent”.

However, Xi and Suu Kyi did not address a controversial $3.6 billion Beijing-backed mega-dam, where work has been stalled since 2011, reflecting the contentiousness of Chinese investment in Myanmar.

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