Myanmar, China ink pipeline deal after decade of talks
By Li Xiaokun
11 April 2017

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN News Desk) - Myanmar and China sign deal on 770 kilometre crude oil pipeline during state visit of President Htin Kyaw. 

China and Myanmar on Monday signed an agreement on a pipeline to send crude oil from Myanmar's Kyaukpyu port to Yunnan province.

The agreement, a decade in the making, and eight other cooperation documents were signed after talks between President Xi Jinping and Myanmar President Htin Kyaw, who is on a state visit to China from Thursday to Tuesday.

Progress on the 770 kilometre pipeline stalled for two years due to conflicting relations between Myanmar and Beijing, according to the South China morning Post. 

Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters after the meeting that one section of the China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline has been finished, while China has built a refinery near Kunming, provincial capital of Yunnan.

The pipeline is expected to send 260,000 barrels per day of crude oil across the Bay of Bengal to southwest China. 

In talks with Myanmar, Xi said China is willing to "push forward China-Myanmar cooperation to focus more on Myanmar's livelihood, such as education and rural area development,” according to a news release issued by the Foreign Ministry.

The pipeline is also viewed as a key part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative to integrate Asian investment. 

China will also push forward key cooperation projects such as the Kyaukpyu special economic zone and connectivity projects, Xi said.

The two sides have reached "important consensus" in areas such as energy, interconnectivity and infrastructure cooperation, Liu revealed.

China and Myanmar have "basically reached consensus" on the Myitsone Dam project, which was delayed by the former Myanmar government, Liu said.

"Both sides expressed positive expectations," he said, adding the two sides will continue the discussion to reach a proper win-win settlement. "It is predictable that there will be a result acceptable to both sides in the coming future.”

Liu said a gap in the nation's common efforts that existed in the past will be filled by the decision to focus combined efforts more on the livelihoods of Myanmar's people.

Htin Kyaw also met Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. Li stressed that stability in northern Myanmar has a direct effect on security of southwest China.

China does not want to see the border area disturbed and will support Myanmar's efforts to realise domestic peace and reconciliation, Li said.

China appreciates Myanmar's active involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said, adding that Beijing will comprehensively consider development strategies of the two nations to promote cooperation in fields like trade and investment, infrastructure, energy, hydropower and border economic cooperation zones.

He said China respects Myanmar following a development path in accord with its own national status.

China will continue playing a constructive role in Myanmar's domestic peace process and work with Myanmar to jointly maintain security and stability in the border area, Xi said.

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