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China to help Myanmar maintain peace in border region
February 16, 2014, 6:37 am

 

A soldier of the All Burma Students' Democratic Front stands guard during a ceremony to mark the ABSDF's 25th anniversary at Janghtung Lahkum-Bum, near Laiza, a border town of China and Myanmar, Kachin State, northern Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 [AP]

A soldier of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front stands guard during a ceremony to mark the ABSDF’s 25th anniversary at Janghtung Lahkum-Bum, near Laiza, a border town of China and Myanmar, Kachin State, northern Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 [AP]

China and Myanmar will hold crucial talks for maintaining stability in restless border regions.

The 12th meet on implementing the China-Myanmar Boundary cooperation agreement will be held in Nay Pyi Taw next Wednesday, according to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar.

The China-Myanmar Boundary treaty was signed by the two countries in 1997.

The two sides will discuss a range of topics relating to the boundary management, border immigration, opening of new checkpoint along the border line, safety and security issues of the border areas, said an Embassy statement.

The five-day meeting will be attended by the Chinese delegation led by Ouyang Yujing, head of the department of boundary and ocean affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The Myanmar delegation will be headed by U San Lwin, director-General of the Political Department of Myanmar Foreign Ministry.

China has traditionally close ties with Myanmar, earlier called Burma. Tensions along the Myanmar side of the Chinese border has aggravated over the recent past as the Myanmar government was besieged by demands of greater autonomy from several ethnic groups.

China has repeatedly raised the issue of reconciliation to halt the civilian strife in Myanmar and called for a ceasefire between government troops and the rebel groups.

Artillery shells exchanged between the two fighting sides in Myanmar had flown over the border more than a couple of times and landed inside China.

Fighting erupted in 2010 between the Myanmar government security forces and the ethnic rebel group Kachin Independence Army (KIA) after a 16-year-old truce collapsed.

A tentative agreement between the KIA, a major rebel group, and the provincial Nay Pyi Taw government was reached in October 2013.

“China calls on both sides involved in the conflict in Myanmar to … immediately implement a ceasefire … and jointly protect the peace and stability of the China-Myanmar border area,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said earlier.

The two neighbours also share major energy and transport projects and thriving trade ties.

The Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline, China’s fourth strategic energy supply channel, was completed in October last year.

The pipeline is expected to send 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually to Myanmar and southwest China, which will reduce coal consumption by 30.72 million tonnes per year.

The project is billed as one of energy-hungry China’s most important strategic investments.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China’s top oil and gas producer, owns the pipelines.

It is part of the $2.5 billion Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipeline project, which also includes building a crude oil pipeline.

 

 TBP and Agencies

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