Xi Jin­ping meets Aung San Suu Kyi: Xin­hua


Myan­mar’s Aung San Suu Kyi met Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping in Bei­jing on Thurs­day, state me­dia said, dur­ing her closely watched first visit that China hopes will es­tab­lish a line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the in­flu­en­tial op­po­si­tion leader.

Suu Kyi met Xi at Bei­jing’s Great Hall of the Peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency, which did not im­me­di­ately pro­vide de­tails on what was dis­cussed.

Suu Kyi came to China at the in­vi­ta­tion of the Com­mu­nist Party, of which Xi is the gen­eral sec­re­tary.

“China and Myan­mar are close, friendly neigh­bors,” Xi said, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua.

“China al­ways looks at the China-Myan­mar re­la­tion­ship from a strate­gic and long-term per­spec­tive,” he added.

“We hope and be­lieve that the Myan­mar side will also main­tain a con­sis­tent stance on China-Myan­mar re­la­tion­ship and be com­mit­ted to ad­vanc­ing friendly ties, no mat­ter how its do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion changes.”

Xin­hua did not im­me­di­ately re­port Suu Kyi’s re­marks.

Rare Visit

Suu Kyi ar­rived in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day with an NLD del­e­ga­tion and met later in the evening with a se­nior Com­mu­nist Party of­fi­cial Wang Jiarui, Xin­hua re­ported late Wed­nes­day.

It is rare for China to in­vite an op­po­si­tion leader to visit, given its pol­icy of avoid­ing in­volve­ment in what it calls the in­ter­nal af­fairs of other coun­tries.

Still, Suu Kyi’s wel­come has all the hall­marks of an of­fi­cial visit — the im­pos­ing Great Hall of the Peo­ple is where Xi reg­u­larly wel­comes vis­it­ing heads of state.

“The Chi­nese re­al­ize they should not keep all their eggs in one bas­ket and they see they need to build bridges,” said Willy Lam, a pro­fes­sor at the Chi­nese Uni­ver­sity of Hong Kong.

“This pol­icy shift is an im­prove- ment and rep­re­sents a ma­tu­rity in Bei­jing’s at­ti­tude to­wards re­la­tion­ships with au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes,” he added.

“They used to just in­vest and build re­la­tion­ships with the pow­ers that be.”

China’s for­eign min­istry said Wed­nes­day that China hopes the visit will bol­ster “mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and trust.”

Suu Kyi will also travel to Shang­hai and the south­west­ern prov­ince of Yun­nan, China’s Bei­jing Youth Daily news­pa­per re­ported Thurs­day. The re­port did not say where in Yun­nan she would go, but part of the prov­ince bor­ders Myan­mar where the eth­nic fight­ing has oc­curred.


Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping, right, and Myan­mar’s pro-democ­racy leader Aung San Suu Kyi shake hands as they meet at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Thurs­day, June 11.

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