By Wang Fengjuan
On the afternoon of March 5, Wang Guoqing, Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the spokesman for the fifth session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee, met with a media delegation from Myanmar.
“I’m very glad to have you here in Beijing,” Wang said. “I was once a journalist as you are and I have worked for years in the field of media, dedicated to introducing China to the world.” His introduction to his career as a journalist brought him closer to the visitors from Myanmar media.
For most delegation members, it is their first time to China. After observing the opening meetings of the CPPCC and the National People’s Congress (NPC), they all greatly valued the opportunity to talk face-to-face with the CPPCC spokesman. Their questions mainly focused on the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s foreign policy and the future of Sino-Myanmar relations.
A New Chapter of Win-win Cooperation
When asked how Myanmar would benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang noted that the Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping is an open platform based on shared interests. Myanmar is a neighbor of China and a major country along the route. As long as Myanmar takes an active part in it, the Initiative will present great opportunities for its development. So far more than a hundred countries and international organizations have expressed their support to the Belt and Road Initiative. Over 40 countries have signed cooperation agreements with China under this framework and a large number of major projects have been launched. As the world’s second largest economy, China welcomes all countries along the Belt and Road aboard on this express train heading to joint development.
In 2016 alone, China’s direct investment in 53 countries along the route totaled US$14.53 billion, and the new contracts signed between Chinese enterprises and 61 countries was valued at US$126.03 billion.
The International Cooperation Summit Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative will be held this May in Beijing. Wang hoped that leaders of Myanmar could come to attend the meeting themed on regional development and promote further win-win cooperation.
Unremitting Pursuit of a Good-neighborly Relationship
Reporters from the English-language media Mizzima showed special interest in the prospect of Sino-Myanmar relations. Wang pointed out that China’s foreign policy would not change. Under the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, China is committed to building friendship and partnership with its neighbors to foster an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood.
“We follow a policy of making friends and partners in the surrounding areas and this will not change,” Wang said. He also talked about his visits to China-Myanmar border regions like Ruili Wanding, and reviewed the close exchanges between state leaders of the two countries in the past as well as friendly interactions between President Xi Jinping and Aung San Suu Kyi. Wang stressed that China and Myanmar are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers and that the two sides should remove misunderstanding and work together to maintain regional peace and stability.
After the Q&A session, Wang encouraged journalists from Myanmar to pay more visits to China and present objective and comprehensive reports on China’s development based on their personal experience in the country. He also said that media serves as a bridge to exchanges between countries and peoples, and it is expected that media professionals on both sides play a more active role in promoting Sino-Myanmar friendship.
(Translation: Wng Yufan. Photos: Liu Rong)