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Premier arrives in Myanmar for East Asian leaders’ meetings

Updated: Nov 12,2014 10:17 PM     Xinhua

NAY PYI TAW — Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Nay Pyi Taw on Nov 12 for a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation and an official visit to Myanmar.

Myanmar holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, and is hosting a series of regional meetings in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw.

Li will attend the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting, the 17th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea leaders’ meeting, and the 9th East Asia Summit.

The trip, Li’s first to Myanmar since he took office in March 2013, is of great significance to boosting the friendship and partnership between the two countries, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said in a recent briefing.

Besides economic cooperation, the two sides will also discuss exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, youth, education and media.

Bilateral cooperation has been deepened in economy and trade, defense, security and culture in recent years thanks to the frequent exchanges of visits between the leaders of the two countries, Liu said.

Official data show that bilateral trade reached $ 10.15 billion in 2013, a tenfold increase over the past decade. The volume grew by 185.1 percent to $17.75 billion from January to September this year.

China has become Myanmar’s largest trading partner, second-largest export market and first source of imports. Meanwhile, Myanmar is an important investment destination for Chinese companies.

China is working with all relevant countries to promote the construction of an economic corridor between China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, and to strengthen regional interconnectivity under the framework of “One Belt and One Road.”

The framework refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, two initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping during his visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia last year.

During Li’s visit to Myanmar, the two sides are expected to sign a number of cooperation documents in trade and economy, in a bid to push forward bilateral economic ties and benefit the people of both countries.