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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: February 4, 2013 NO. 6 FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Community of Destiny
China and Myanmar share a border and a vision
By Song Qingrun

ENERGY COOPERATION: A worker fixes a leak on the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline on January 25 at a construction site in Xincheng County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The pipeline is scheduled to be completed by May 30 (FAN SHAOGUANG)

To put it bluntly, the China-Myanmar relationship is having troubles. Conflicts in Myanmar's Kachin State suddenly worsened, resulting in tensions along the China-Myanmar border. The changing situation is impacting the lives of people who reside in the increasingly distressed areas.

Moreover, three symbolic cooperative projects between China and Myanmar valuing several billion dollars—a hydropower station and a copper mine in Myanmar as well as the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline—took a frustrating turn. Chinese enterprises are worried about the safety of investing in Myanmar, and Western enterprises have tried to seize the opportunity and squeeze into Myanmar by enlarging investment, fighting for Myanmar's market and resources. In the meantime, Western media have painted the China-Myanmar relationship in a negative light and agitated anti-China sentiment in the country by slandering Chinese enterprises for "destroying the environment and robbing resources."


The friendship between China and Myanmar will not change due to current obstacles and outside noise. As countries cannot choose their neighbors, the two have no choice but to cooperate. They cannot allow their bilateral relationship to backtrack. On the contrary, they should focus on people's well-being, strengthen reciprocal cooperation from a strategic viewpoint, and build a community in which they share their fate with equality, mutual trust, honesty, and common prosperity.

China and Myanmar have good reason to build a community of destiny.

The two countries are adjourned with the same rivers and mountains. Several ethnic groups on the two sides share common origins. The traditional friendship between the two cements solid bilateral relations. Myanmar is one of the first non-socialist countries to welcome New China. The China-Myanmar friendship is the only one that Myanmar declares as a brotherhood. Together they forged the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which have since become guiding principles of international relations.

In spite of all the difficulties, the future of China-Myanmar relations is still bright, with many records already being set. China is Myanmar's top investor and major trade partner. China has invested more than $20 billion in Myanmar, accounting for about 50 percent of Myanmar's total foreign investment.

Furthermore, the two engage in frequent high-level exchanges as they have established an all-round strategic cooperative partnership. For example, China sent Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying and Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, to Myanmar on January 19, where they received warm welcome of high-level Myanmar officials including President U Thein Sein. During the visit, Qi attended the first bilateral strategic security consultation, exchanging opinions on regional security and the two countries' military-to-military relationship with high-ranking officers of Myanmar. Non-governmental exchanges such as those between think tanks and the press are also more frequent.

The two friendly neighbors are both at key periods of development. Strengthening cooperation for common development is a shared goal, with China sticking to the policy of creating an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. The report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which set the tone for China's domestic and foreign policies in the years to come, underlined the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, calling for constructing a "community of common destiny." China has also set a goal of doubling 2010 GDP and per-capita income by 2020. China's rapid development will serve as the main engine driving world economic growth. The country will provide a bigger market for its neighbors and the world at large while supplying other countries with more capital.

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