Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

Consul General of Myanmar in Nanning: Deepening the Sincere “Pauk Phaw” Relations to Achieve a Higher Level of Win-Win Cooperation

2022-10-20 14:33:03   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written by Tang Yi / Translated by Xie Zongming

For Myanmar is an important neighbor of China and a key node along the Maritime Silk Road, Myanmar’s strategic significance speaks for itself. Despite the rapidly changing international situation, China and Myanmar are still determined to go through the weal and woe together with shared benefits and future. 

On September 16, 2022, H.E. Kyaw Soe Thein, Consul General of Myanmar in Nanning, accepted the joint interview of media when attending the 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS). He spoke highly of the role of CAEXPO and CABIS in facilitating regional economic recovery, promoting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and improving ChinaASEAN win-win cooperation. 

缅甸驻南宁总领事 来源:东博社
H.E. Kyaw Soe Thein,Consul General of Myanmar in Nanning (Source: China-ASEAN Panorama)

Further upgrading the China-Myanmar community with a shared future 

“Myanmar and China established diplomatic relations on June 8, 1950. The two countries have been friendly neighbors for a long time, historically and geographically. Both sides respect each other under the Pauk Phaw (relatives) relations,” said Kyaw Soe Thein. He added that the Myanmar-China cooperation has a good foundation and considerable potential. He hopes that the two sides will further expand exchange and cooperation, deepen the sincere Pauk Phaw relations, reach for a higher level of win-win cooperation, and promote the construction of the China-Myanmar community with a shared future as China proposed. 

China-Myanmar cooperation involves key sectors like infrastructure, energy, trade, and industry. In the trade sector, China mainly exports full sets of equipment and the products of mechanics and electrics, textiles, chemicals, metals, and automotive parts, whereas Myanmar’s exports to China are mainly minerals, agricultural products, wood, seafood, and jewelry. The Trade between the two countries is highly complementary. 

In the investment sector, China is becoming a major foreign investor in the world. As Myanmar has a rather weak economic foundation, the country needs to attract foreign investment for development. Myanmar focuses on attracting investment in energy, telecommunication, and the manufacturing industry, which are also key areas of Chinese enterprises’ overseas expansion. 

In recent years, the “China-Myanmar-India Economic Corridor” construction sees rapid progress as the construction of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” advances. Under the background, Myanmar’s strategic role will be further highlighted, which will bring more historic opportunities for expanding China-Myanmar economic and trade cooperation. 

China-Myanmar cooperation under the BRI framework keeps deepening and infrastructure connectivity of the two countries is enhancing, gradually forming an all-round, multi-layered, wide-ranging cooperation pattern. As a pilot project of BRI in Myanmar, the Myanmar-China Oil & Gas Pipelines started construction in June 2010. The gas pipelines of the project were put into operation in 2013, and the oil pipeline, in 2017. Currently, the oil and gas pipelines can deliver 6 billion m3 of gas and 10 million tons of oil, annually. 

According to Kyaw Soe Thein, the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor and the related project implementation agreements are of strategic significance for the two countries to start cooperation in building BRI with high quality. Meanwhile, countries along the Belt and Road, including Myanmar and China, also contribute to facilitating BRI cooperation. 

RCEP will facilitate more cooperation 

In 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping summarized four points of experience at the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. One of them is “upholding inclusiveness and mutual learning, jointly contributing to open regionalism”. In the opinion of Kyaw Soe Thein, China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships will help the two sides reshape and enhance economic cooperation in the region. With the idea of “open regionalism”, the partnerships firmly promoted the China-ASEAN bilateral relations and the construction of the version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA. 

On the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entering into force at the beginning of 2022, the Consul General said that China made important contributions to the opening of ASEAN countries and the economic cooperation and development under RCEP. ASEAN and China should promote closer cooperation and reiterate China’s support for ASEAN centrality in regional structure. The two sides should also build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future with strengthened friendly relations and deepened mutual trust through developing the idea of open regionalism. 

2022 marks the 31st anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. In the past 30 years, China and ASEAN have been extending areas of cooperation, covering politics, security, economy, and culture, and ASEAN is China’s largest trade partner.According to the Consul General, ASEAN and China should make full use of the advantages of RCEP to yield more significant achievements in regional economic integration. He also looks forward to RCEP’s results in boosting China-ASEAN economic cooperation.

The “CAEXPO moments” shared by China and Myanmar 

Since 2004, Myanmar has been participating in the CAEXPO every year, showing the long-lasting friendly relations between Myanmar and China. “CAEXPO has been held for 18 consecutive years and become an important political platform for China-ASEAN high-level dialogues and economic and trade cooperation. Although global uncertainties remain due to the occasions like the pandemic resurgence, CAEXPO is still annually held on schedule, encouraging all parties to enjoy its results, tangibly and intangibly,” complimented the Consul General when talking about CAEXPO’s role in boosting regional opening-up, cooperation, and connectivity. 

Myanmar exhibiting products during the 19th CAEXPO (Photo: Lin Han)

During the 19th CAEXPO, Myanmar set up its country pavilion, exhibiting products like rice, beans, food, tea, coffee, handicrafts, jewelry, jade, and wood furniture. 2022 is the first year of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnerships and the first year of RCEP entering into force. Construction of the version 3.0 China-ASEAN FTA is about to begin. Looking into the future, H.E. Kyaw Soe Thein expresses his anticipation about CAEXPO, “I hope that the CAEXPO will continue to facilitate regional economic recovery, promote the high-quality development of the BRI, drive the early implementation of RCEP, and help enhance China-ASEAN win-win cooperation.” 

Myanmar set up its country pavilion during the 19th CAEXPO (Photo: Tang Yi)

桂ICP备14000177号 Copyright@2006-2013 Guangxi China-ASEAN Panorama Magazine Agency Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved