HALF a century ago, when China’s place on the world stage was smaller, its relations with Myanmar (then called Burma) were a priority. China’s first Communist prime minister, Zhou Enlai, visited his neighbour at least nine times between 1954 and 1965. Since then, as China has grown, the pace of cross-border diplomacy has slowed. Yet Myanmar’s bountiful resources and strategic location still command Beijing’s attention. On September 7th China welcomed General Than Shwe, leader of Myanmar’s ruling junta, for a four-day official visit. (He was hot on the heels of a fellow Asian dictator, Kim Jong Il of North Korea.)
The general’s trip came as economic activity between the two countries is picking up. This year alone China has invested over $8 billion in Myanmar—mostly in gas, oil and hydropower ventures—about two-thirds the total of the previous two decades combined. The volume of bilateral trade has also surged. read all http://www.economist.com/node/16996935?story_id=16996935&fsrc=rss
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