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Ten members of National League for Democracy (NLD) left for a goodwill visit to China on Sunday, 8 December, at the invitation of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to an NLD spokesman.
Spokesman Nyan Win, who will lead the delegation, said this is the first invitation Burma’s main opposition party has received from the Chinese government. Economist Myo Myint, Kyi Kyi Win and several NLD youth members will accompany him.
According to a press release from the Chinese embassy in Rangoon, during their stay in Beijing the NLD delegation will meet senior officials from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges. The delegation will also visit Shanghai Municipality and Yunnan Province on this visit, the statement said.
China has long been seen as a broker for the military junta in Burma. Despite congratulating the NLD on its general election victory in 1990, Beijing continued to do business with the military government long after most Western nations had imposed sanctions.
Since NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in 2010, it has been reported that officials from the Chinese embassy have paid her visits. As head of the parliamentary committee looking into the China-backed Latpadaung copper mine project in Sagaing division, Suu Kyi approved the continuation of the copper mine, and spoke out about how Burma must be prepared to honour its pre-existing contracts with China.