Following Burmese President Thein Sein’s meeting with representatives of the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO) in Naypyitaw on Monday, China’s media reported that he had all but guaranteed the continuation of China-backed projects in Burma. Under the headline “Myanmar leaders vow to implement cooperation projects with China,” the country’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday that: “The Myanmar government attaches importance to the smooth implementation of the cooperation projects between Myanmar and China, Myanmar President U Thein Sein said Monday.

“China and Myanmar always carry out friendly exchanges on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Thein Sein told Zhang Guoqing, head of China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO Group) as they met at the presidential office.”

NRORINCO is the financial backer of Wanbao Company, which is invested in the controversial Monywa copper mine project in Burma’s Sagaing Division.

Xinhua reported that NORINCO chief Zhang also met with Burma’s Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann who assured him that Burma “will responsibly implement the agreements between governments and between companies, including that between the NORINCO Group and the Myanmar side, stressing bilateral cooperation will not weaken despite some difficulties.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Burma’s Investigation Commission reportedly assigned the Myanmar Environmental Institute (MEI) to assess the extent of environmental degradation and the impacts on local livelihoods brought about by the Monywa copper mine project.

A total of 12 related experts were formed as the assessment group to undertake the task, Xinhua reported.

The group is set to submit its preliminary report to the commission within two weeks, it added.

The Investigation Commission was established on December 3 to probe into the violence at the site where riot police cracked down on protesters, including dozens of Buddhist monks, on November 29. It is also tasked with investigating whether the project will be profitable for the state and for the people, and if it should be allowed to continue.

The Commission is chaired by Aung San Suu Kyi, and is due to submit its investigation report to the President before January 31, 2013.