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Burma’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi left Naypyidaw this morning to fly to Beijing where she is to attend a conference titled ‘Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting’.
China says it is hosting the event from 30 November to 3 December as a means to open dialogue between the CPC and representatives from some 300 foreign political parties and organisations.
In addition to Burma’s ruling National League for Democracy, senior members of the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party have also been invited to Beijing.
According to Chinese state media, the conference has “the aim of deepening cooperation and communication among different party entities, as well as tackling challenges that hinder the development of human society together.”
At the invitation of the Chinese government, Suu Kyi is scheduled to deliver a speech as a special guest at the meeting.
Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the State Counsellor, who is also Burma’s foreign minister, will hold bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the four-day event.
Suu Kyi is accompanied on the trip by: Minister for Construction Win Khaing; Mandalay Chief Minister Zaw Myint Maung; Deputy Minister of the President’s Office Min Thu; and other officials.
The Beijing meeting comes as Suu Kyi faces mounting pressure from the international community to take action in the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Burma’s western Rakhine State. Both the US and UN have referred to the Burmese military’s actions towards the Rohingya Muslim community in that region as akin to ethnic cleansing.
Beijing, however, has taken a markedly different stance, offering diplomatic backing for the Burmese army’s counter-insurgency operations.
Earlier this year, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution rebuking Burma for its military campaign in Rakhine.