China for strengthening of military cooperation with Myanmar

"This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-Myanmar relations. Your visit comes at a very special moment. This shows that you pay a lot of attention to improving bilateral relations," Hu said welcoming the Myanmar military ruler.

"I believe your visit will further promote bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between the neighbours," Hu said.Thanking Hu for the ceremonial welcome, Gen Than, who recently visited India too, said "the main purpose of my visit to China this time is to further promote the already existing neighbourly friendship, mutual cooperation and trust between the two countries."

The two leaders also discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations in the fields of defence and infrastructure development projects in Myanmar.Earlier, Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, called on Gen Than and sought firming up of the military cooperation between the two countries, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China has already extended its backing for Gen Than's plans to hold elections and called on the international community to support him."We hope the international community can provide constructive help to the upcoming election and refrain from making any negative impact on the domestic political process and the regional peace and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told the media here yesterday.

Gen Than's visit here comes three months after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's trip to Myanmar during which the two sides signed 15 agreements relating to establishment of pipelines for natural gas, hydropower station and development assistance. According to official media reports here, China has made about USD 8.17 billion worth of investment in Myanmar in the recent years

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