On July 29, an academic symposium “Myanmar in 2014: Re-integrating into the International Community” started in Kunming, Yunnan and was jointly organized by Center for Myanmar Studies of Yunnan University, Charhar Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences of HongKong University and the Department of International Relations of Yangon University. Prominent  scholars of Myanmar from Myanmar, mainland China, U.S., France and Hong Kong gathered together for exchanges and discussion. Joint Chair of the International Advisory Committee, Lv Fengding and Secretary General of the Charhar Institute, Ke Yinbin attended the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony was chaired by director of the Center for Myanmar Studies of Yunnan University, Li Chenyang, who is also a senior fellow with the Charhar Institute.

Vice president of Yunnan University Xiao Xian was the first to deliver his remarks. He welcomed all experts and scholars and thanked them for taking so much of their time to come to Yunnan for the conference. As Myanmar’s reform progresses and the country reintegrates into the international community, Myanmar begins to attract people’s attention. In addition, the upcoming elections have made it a rising focus of the international community. The symposium has been timed perfectly to enhance our understanding of Myanmar and the quality of Myanmar studies.

During his speech, Chairman Lv Fengding also welcomed the arrival of experts and scholars and congratulated the beginning of the conference. Chairman Lv said that China, Myanmar and India jointly advocated “five principles of peaceful co-existence” 60 years ago. During the past six decades, Sino-Myanmar relations have progressed under the guidance of the five principles. Although there were ups and downs, the overall progressive trend has not been affected. As a friendly neighboring country, China hopes to strengthen communications and cooperation with Myanmar, especially in terms of civilian economic and cultural cooperation. He hopes the civilian organizations of the two countries will play more important roles in promoting bilateral relations.

Division Director of the Asia Department of Foreign Ministry, Hao Zhigang commented that the friendly relationship between China and Myanmar enjoys a long history. Although Myanmar has undergone great domestic changes in the past few years, China as a neighbor has always emphasized friendly relations with Myanmar. The two sides should reconfirm their mutual support and help for each other , enhance strategic communications, deepen Sino-Myanmar economic cooperation, properly address the issues of northern Myanmar, and expand social exchanges to as to foster the long-term, healthy and stable development of Sino-Myanmar relations.

Professor Ian Holliday from the Department of Social Sciences of Hong Kong University, one of the original founders of the symposium, commented during the opening ceremony that faced with the current situation, active dialogue among China, Myanmar and other countries is essential for joint resolution of the issues facing Myanmar today. Meanwhile, as Myanmar scholars, we need to dig deeper to discover the true origins of the problems.

Professor Daw Kyaw Kyaw Sein from Yangon University said that major changes have taken place since the beginning of the reform program and opening up of Myanmar. We hope to share our views about Myanmar with everyone at the symposium. This year, 25 students from Yangon University came to Yunnan University to study. This is proof of the ever-growing relationship between the two countries. Our bilateral relations are founded on a long history of friendly contact. Myanmar today has made major progress in peace, democracy and other areas. Myanmar is a blooming flower. As friendly neighbors, the two countries should take practical and effective measures to promote bilateral development.

After the opening ceremony, director of the Center for Myanmar Studies of Yunnan University Li Chenyang and political advisor to Myanmar President U Ko Ko Hlaing, signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of Yunnan University and Yangon University.

During the following two days, more than 40 experts from all countries discussed a wide range of topics including the development of Myanmar politics, Sino-Myanmar relations since the political transformation, Myanmar’s relationship with other powers and international organizations, its relationship with other countries, the ethnic reconciliation process, history, culture, economy and environment of Myanmar.

Link: http://news.china.com.cn/txt/2014-08/01/content_33118108.html