LMC mechanism provides blueprint for successful bilateral relations as China, Myanmar treasure friendship: Myanmar politician
Published: Aug 30, 2022 08:57 PM
People visit the Myanmar pavilion at the 2022 China International Travel Mart in Kunming, Yunnan Province, on July 23, 2022. Photo: VCG

People visit the Myanmar pavilion at the 2022 China International Travel Mart in Kunming, Yunnan Province, on July 23, 2022. Photo: VCG

The China-initiated Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) is one of the most effective avenues of cooperation between China and Myanmar, the secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Myanmar, Than Than Nu, told the Global Times recently in an interview. As a diplomat and daughter of Myanmar's first prime minister U Nu, she has made at least five visits to China, and was impressed by China's great achievements, and the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s unremitting efforts toward safeguarding people's wellbeing. 

Than Than Nu believes that China's success may act as a useful reference for Myanmar in economic development, the improvement of people's livelihoods, and poverty eradication.

"On my father's first meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong, he told my father that the Chinese government had launched one hundred development projects and hoped that with their completion, China would be able to assist Myanmar to a considerable extent. Now the avenues of cooperation between the two countries have increased annually and one of them, the LMC, I should say, is the most effective one," Than Than Nu told the Global Times.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on July 4 that the LMC has been turned into a "golden model" of regional cooperation six years after it was launched with fruitful results during a joint press conference with Myanmar's Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, which was held following the seventh LMC Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bagan, Myanmar.

The LMC cooperation is very important for Myanmar, because it is based on three founding pillars: first, politics and security; second, economic and sustainable development; and third, social, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, according to Than Than Nu.

Since the starting of the LMC special fund in 2016, it has provided for the development of socio-economic sectors for all LMC-affiliated countries including Myanmar. These avenues of cooperation have expanded with equality and mutual benefit among all LMC-affiliated countries, she noted. 

Than Than Nu believes that such deep cooperation via the LMC framework reflects the great importance of the "Paukphaw" friendship between two countries and deepening bilateral ties that Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted during his visit to Myanmar in January 2020.

This friendship is also reflected in the mutual support between China and Myanmar on sovereign integrity.

On April 1, during talks with visiting Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Wang Yi said that China cherishes the traditional friendship between two countries and Myanmar holds a special place in China's neighborhood diplomacy. No matter how the situation changes, China will always support Myanmar in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and the exploration of a developmental path in line with its national conditions, and support the people of Myanmar in pursuing a happy and peaceful life. 

U Wunna Maung Lwin reiterated that Myanmar firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and the island of Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. Myanmar fully supports China's position on issues involving its core interests. 

Than Than Nu was very impressed by the book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China after reading it, saying that the book has been translated into Burmese part by part and has been popularized among local researchers. 

Than Than Nu briefly met with President Xi at the Great Hall of the People in 2014 during her visit. She and her son visited China again in 2017 and was deeply impressed by the improvement in Chinese people's living standards.

When she was a 9-year-old child, Than Than Nu accompanies her parents to China. "That was my very first visit to China. My father never took us along during his official visit to foreign countries. But I accompanied him to China twice. It showed the very close personal rapport between the Chinese leaders and my father. Especially, then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai told my father to bring the children whenever he visited China."

Than Than Nu expects that bilateral cooperation will be expanded and strengthened in the field of agriculture in the future as both China and Myanmar are economically based on agriculture. Exchanges in the healthcare sector will also be beneficial to Myanmar, she said, while recognizing China's support to Myanmar during the COVID-19 pandemic.