Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.(REUTERS)
Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.(REUTERS)

Belt and Road Initiative gets major boost as China and Myanmar ink 33 deals

Kyaukhphyu projects concerns India as it provides a stepping stone for China to the Indian Ocean.
By Press Trust of India | Naypyitaw
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2020 06:16 PM IST

China and Myanmar on Saturday inked 33 deals aimed at speeding up key infrastructure projects to provide Beijing a stepping stone to the Indian Ocean after a meeting between President Xi Jinping and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as the Communist nation ramped up support to cement its hold over the Southeast Asian country under fire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

Holding talks with Xi on the final day of his two-day visit, Suu Kyi slammed the western countries for criticising Myanmar over the handling of the Rohingya issue.

Over 7.3 lakh Rohingya Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh alleging attacks by the Myanmar army, triggering a global refugee crisis.

Xi and Suu Kyi signed 33 agreements, covering areas such as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications, shoring up mammoth projects that are part of the flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s vision of new trade routes described as a “21st century silk road”.

Myanmar would like to promote the building of the Myanmar-China Economic Corridor, and enhance cooperation in transport, energy, production capacity, humanitarian and cultural exchanges, border areas and regional affairs, Suu Kyi told Xi during the talks.

Some countries intend to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries with such excuses as human rights, ethnicities and religions, and Myanmar will never accept such interference, she said.

Suu Kyi said Myanmar hoped China would continue to maintain justice for middle and small countries including Myanmar, state-run China Daily reported.

The silence of Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize winner, over the Rohingya crisis has come under intense global criticism.

The International Court of Justice, where Gambia has filed a case of genocide against Myanmar, on Wednesday said it will deliver its decision next week on whether emergency measures should be imposed on Myanmar over alleged genocide of its Rohingya Muslims.

Xi, in his remarks, said China was a trustworthy friend of Myanmar and always respected the development paths of other countries by upholding the principle of non-interference in other countries’ affairs.

China will continue to maintain justice for Myanmar on the international stage, and it supports Myanmar in safeguarding its national sovereignty and legitimate interests, the Daily report quoted Xi as saying.

The main focus of the agreements signed after the talks between the two leaders appeared to be on the implementation of the China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) which is akin to the USD 60 billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under which China looks to access Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian sea.

CMEC is also a giant connectivity project linking the landlocked southwestern China to the Indian Ocean.

Details on agreements reached over CMEC were sketchy but they reportedly included a concession and shareholders agreement on the USD 1.3 billion Kyaukhphyu deep-sea port and economic zone.

Kyaukhphyu projects concerns India as it provides a stepping stone for China to the Indian Ocean.

Besides Gwadar, China also acquired the Hambantota port raising concerns over the theory of “String Pearls” to encircle India by Beijing.

There was also a letter of intent for “new urban development” in Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon and feasibility studies for rail links.

But both the countries skirted the controversial USD 3.6 billion Myitsone Dam which has been stalled since 2011 over public protests.

According to officials, no major new projects have been worked out as Myanmar goes to polls later this year.

China, which for decades has maintained close ties with the Myanmar military even when Suu Kyi was incarcerated for years, has again become an important ally to fend off global isolation of Nay Pyi Taw in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.

In his talks with Suu Kyi, Xi said the two countries should speed up connecting development strategies.

Conspicuously missing from his talks was the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) corridor which China in the past vigorously proposed but apparently dropped it over India’s lukewarm support.

India has been severely critical of the BRI as CPEC which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is its flagship project.

On his arrival in Myanmar, the first by a Chinese leader in 19 years, President Xi received a royal welcome with two fighter jets escorting his plane after it entered the country’s airspace.

As his plane touched down in Nay Pyi Taw, children presented him flowers before he was whisked off to a greeting party, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime popularised the party’s symbols and the salute, which is banned in Germany.(Shutterstock/Archive)
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime popularised the party’s symbols and the salute, which is banned in Germany.(Shutterstock/Archive)

German police commissioner charged with sharing Hitler pictures

Reuters, Berlin
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:13 PM IST
German police and security agencies have faced accusations of not doing enough to unearth potentially violent nationalists in their ranks.
Close
Google Research executives said they were working to regain trust after the company ousted two prominent women and rejected their work.(REUTERS)
Google Research executives said they were working to regain trust after the company ousted two prominent women and rejected their work.(REUTERS)

Google pledges changes to research oversight after internal revolt

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:57 PM IST
Employees continued to post about their frustrations over the last month on Twitter as Google investigated and then fired ethical AI co-lead Margaret Mitchell for moving electronic files outside the company.
Close
BSF soldiers patrol next to a stream near the LoC, at Sabjiyan sector of Poonch district. (HT archive)
BSF soldiers patrol next to a stream near the LoC, at Sabjiyan sector of Poonch district. (HT archive)

LoC ceasefire outcome of ‘behind the scenes’ contacts: Pakistan’s de facto NSA

By Rezaul H Laskar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:12 PM IST
Moeed Yusuf, who holds the post of special assistant to Khan on national security and strategic policy planning, said in an audio statement released in Islamabad that the ceasefire, which began at midnight on February 24, is a “very solid and positive” development and should be welcomed
Close
A protester holds a placard with a zero symbol over the face of Commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing during an anti-coup rally.(AP)
A protester holds a placard with a zero symbol over the face of Commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing during an anti-coup rally.(AP)

Explained: Why Facebook, Instagram took extreme step of banning Myanmar military

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kunal Gaurav
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:40 PM IST
  • The social media giant said that it is banning the Tatmadaw, military-controlled state and media entities from Facebook and Instagram with immediate effect.
Close
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan Khan looks on at the Trade and Investments conference during his two-day visit in Colombo, Sri Lanka February 24, 2021. (REUTERS)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan Khan looks on at the Trade and Investments conference during his two-day visit in Colombo, Sri Lanka February 24, 2021. (REUTERS)

Pakistan offers USD 50 mn new credit line to Sri Lanka for defence cooperation

PTI, Colombo/islamabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:32 PM IST
  • The two countries reached a broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in a comprehensive manner.
Close
A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping applauding during the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing. (AP/ FILE)
A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping applauding during the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing. (AP/ FILE)

Xi Jinping declares ‘complete victory’ over rural poverty in China

By Sutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Sanya Mathur
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:05 PM IST
Chinese state media called the achievement a “miracle” and said it was under Xi’s leadership that nearly 100 million people had been lifted out of poverty
Close
A US State Department spokesperson said Washington was “committed to guaranteeing the safety and security of American diplomats and their families while preserving their dignity, consistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as other relevant diplomatic law provisions.”(REUTERS)
A US State Department spokesperson said Washington was “committed to guaranteeing the safety and security of American diplomats and their families while preserving their dignity, consistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as other relevant diplomatic law provisions.”(REUTERS)

China denies subjecting US diplomats to Covid-19 anal tests

PTI, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:06 PM IST
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing that “China has never asked US diplomats in China to go through anal swab tests.”
Close
City of Jackson councilman and State Rep. De'Keither Stamps, left, pours potable water into a resident's empty jugs and containers in Jackson, Miss.(AP)
City of Jackson councilman and State Rep. De'Keither Stamps, left, pours potable water into a resident's empty jugs and containers in Jackson, Miss.(AP)

Poorer Texans already had trouble paying energy bills, then came the storm

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:02 PM IST
Energy insecurity among poor and middle-class Americans had already deepened because of the economic crisis the pandemic created, according to experts. Even before the pandemic, low-income households in Texas were spending 10% of their income on energy - compared with 2% for the better off.
Close
Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan attends a news conference on budget for 2021-22 in Hong Kong,(AP)
Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan attends a news conference on budget for 2021-22 in Hong Kong,(AP)

Hong Kong’s January exports surge most since 1992 on Asia boost

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 04:01 PM IST
Hong Kong’s economy will return to growth this year and expand between 3.5% and 5.5%, Financial Secretary Paul Chan forecast in his budget speech Wednesday, although that is dependent on the global rollout of vaccines to spur a return of external demand and international travel.
Close
Reuters reported citing sources that discussions focused on whether AirAsia, one of Airbus' largest customers, could not only delay deliveries but also seek a partial return of deposits. Auditors EY last year raised doubt on the carrier's ability to continue as a going concern due to Covid-19 impact on the travel industry.(Reuters)
Reuters reported citing sources that discussions focused on whether AirAsia, one of Airbus' largest customers, could not only delay deliveries but also seek a partial return of deposits. Auditors EY last year raised doubt on the carrier's ability to continue as a going concern due to Covid-19 impact on the travel industry.(Reuters)

Malaysia's AirAsia Group postpones fourth-quarter results to end-March

Reuters, Kuala Lumpur
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:44 PM IST
The airline will recognise a loss of $74.1 million in its 2020 second half financial results, from intercompany financial assistance and loans deemed irrecoverable.
Close
About 200 young activists had already come to the UK from Hong Kong as of earlier this month, according to Krish Kandiah, the founder of UKHK, an organization that includes a network of hundreds of churches ready to help the arrivals.(AP)
About 200 young activists had already come to the UK from Hong Kong as of earlier this month, according to Krish Kandiah, the founder of UKHK, an organization that includes a network of hundreds of churches ready to help the arrivals.(AP)

UK Sanctuary Offer for Hong Kong Activists Is Great If You Can Afford It

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:24 PM IST
Some protest front-liners with limited funds are finding themselves stuck in a “devastating” limbo.
Close
Vasilyev gathered and handed over information that constituted a state secret to China's intelligence services, TASS cited a law enforcement source as saying.(REUTERS)
Vasilyev gathered and handed over information that constituted a state secret to China's intelligence services, TASS cited a law enforcement source as saying.(REUTERS)

Russia jails man for eight years for handing over secrets to China: TASS

Reuters, Moscow
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:10 PM IST
Vladimir Vasilyev, 52, was arrested in Russia's eastern Siberian Zabaykalsky region that borders Mongolia and China in August 2019. He pleaded guilty to the charge of treason, TASS said.
Close
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That's when when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol Police. Much is still unknown about the attack, and lawmakers are demanding answers. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That's when when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol Police. Much is still unknown about the attack, and lawmakers are demanding answers. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)

US Capitol Police was 'quickly overwhelmed' during riots, acting chief says

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:08 PM IST
More than 200 people have been charged so far for their roles in the riot, including some with ties to far-right fringe groups
Close
US police serving an arrest warrant on a burglary suspect ended up in a long standoff because his girlfriend wanted to have sex with him one last time.(Representative Image)
US police serving an arrest warrant on a burglary suspect ended up in a long standoff because his girlfriend wanted to have sex with him one last time.(Representative Image)

US murder accused cooked victim's heart to serve his other targets: Report

Posted by Prashasti Singh | AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:01 PM IST
The suspect, Lawrence Paul Anderson, allegedly removed the organ from the body of a neighbor he had stabbed to death, according to Oklahoma City News 4 TV and the Oklahoman newspaper.
Close
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish forces captured its northern third in 1974, following an attempted coup in which a military junta in Athens sought to unite the island with Greece. To this day, the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state is recognized only by Turkey, while the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island is internationally recognized and joined the European Union in 2004.(REUTERS)
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish forces captured its northern third in 1974, following an attempted coup in which a military junta in Athens sought to unite the island with Greece. To this day, the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state is recognized only by Turkey, while the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island is internationally recognized and joined the European Union in 2004.(REUTERS)

UN plans Cyprus meeting in April as gap widens between sides

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:48 PM IST
Turkey and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the island say that a two-state solution to the Cyprus conflict is the only option that merits a discussion.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP