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Friday, July 19, 2024

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    China’s foreign minister promotes haste in the construction of an economic corridor with Myanmar.

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    On Tuesday, China’s foreign minister urged the development of an economic corridor with its southern neighbor, Myanmar.

    Qin Gang emphasized the “need to fight cross-border crimes, promote bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges, and accelerate the construction of a China-Myanmar economic corridor (CMEC)” during a survey trip to a border area with Myanmar in southwestern Yunnan province.

    Qin will also travel to the junta-ruled Southeast Asian country on Tuesday, from which he will fly to India for a Shanghai Cooperation Organization session of foreign ministers.

    Myanmar is currently ruled by a military junta, which deposed the previous civilian administration, the National League for Democracy, in February 2021.

    The CMEC, which was signed in September 2018, is 1,700 kilometers (1,051 miles) long and includes infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, and ports to connect Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming to Mandalay in central Myanmar, Yangon further south, and Kyaukphyu in western Rakhine State.

    In September 2018, Myanmar and China inked an agreement to establish the CMEC.

    According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Qin, who is also a state councilor, advocated ongoing “stability” along China’s border with Myanmar.

    His visit to the border came just a day after he met with Noeleen Heyzer, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy to Myanmar.

    “The international community should respect Myanmar’s sovereignty and promote political dialogue to restore peace and stability in Myanmar,” Qin told Heyzer, urging support for the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus on the country.

    “We must act prudently and pragmatically to avoid escalating tensions and crisis spillover,” Qin said. “China is willing to assist and support Heyzer’s mediation efforts.”

    The Jiegao Gate, Manman Passage at Wanding Port, Comprehensive Exhibition Center at Ruili Experimental Zone, and the “One Village, Two Countries” border community along the Yunnan border were all visited by Qin on Tuesday, according to the statement, who also listened to the “opinions and suggestions of grassroots units and front-line staff.”

    “Yunnan is at the forefront of work with Myanmar, and it plays a unique role in promoting China-Myanmar relations,” Qin said.

    “It is necessary to coordinate border management, border trade development, and bilateral relations, to promote normal border trade and personnel exchanges between China and Myanmar, to open ports as much as possible, to speed up the construction of cross-border economic cooperation zones, and to promote the construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor by focusing on production capacity cooperation and park construction.”

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