Busy Schedule Awaits Chinese President Xi During His 2-Day Visit to Myanmar  

By The Irrawaddy 14 January 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Myanmar on Friday for a two-day state visit. 

 Xi will be the first Chinese president to visit China’s southern neighbor in nearly two decades. However, this will be Xi’s second visit to Myanmar. He visited the country in 2009 as vice president. 

The business community in Myanmar is excited to welcome the Chinese president. Myanmar and China will sign several MOUs (memorandums of understanding) on key strategic projects under the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing’s ambitious infrastructure plan for the region. 

The itinerary for Xi’s Jan. 17-18 visit, seen by The Irrawaddy, shows a full schedule of events. He and his delegation will stay at the Horizon Lakeview Hotel in Naypyitaw. 

Myanmar President U Win Myint will receive President Xi in Naypyitaw. This meeting is a formality and will be brief. Xi will then hold talks with State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the government, and this will be a working meeting. It is believed that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will host a banquet for Xi and his delegation. 

Xi will also meet with Myanmar military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. The venue is unknown but it will not be at army headquarters. 

It is believed that Xi has asked to meet some prominent Myanmar figures. A number of politicians, including opposition figures, and well-known monks are likely to be invited to meet him.

Myanmar and Chinese leaders will attend a reception to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries. A ceremony launching the China-Myanmar Culture and Tourism Year will be held at this reception. 

To celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations, a series of events are planned throughout this year to promote economic, trade and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

 Lastly, Myanmar and Chinese leaders will attend a ceremony to sign trade agreements and announce increased cultural exchange and cooperation. The two sides are expected to sign dozens of agreements in the spheres of culture, politics and the economy, Chinese state newspaper Global Times quoted Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai as saying.

During the visit, Xi will also try to kick-start stalled BRI projects in Myanmar. China is one of Myanmar’s largest trading partners. 

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