In recent years, Myanmar gradually implemented democratic policies and is expecting another presidential election in 2015. At the same time, Myanmar has normalized relations with many western countries. The outside world is keen on knowing whether these factors would affect the Sino-Myanmar bilateral relations. U Ye Htut, Myanmar Minister of Information and the President’s spokesman, is very familiar with China. During a special interview with Phoenix TV, he emphasized many times that the foundation of Sino-Myanmar friendship is very strong and won’t be affected.

China and Myanmar are neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. The two countries established diplomatic relations on June 8 1950. On Sino-Myanmar relations, Myanmar Minister of Information and President’s spokesman, U Ye Htut emphasized that the foundation for the bilateral relationship is very stable, that the democratization and normalization of relations with western countries will not affect Myanmar’s relationship with China.

U Ye Htut: “Myanmar’s political system is not an obstacle for Sino-Myanmar relations. Myanmar is only trying to normalize relations with U.S. and other western countries, yet out relationship with China has reached the level of strategic partnership.”

In recent years, Myanmar opened its economy to attract foreign investment. According to statistics, China is Myanmar’s largest investor and trading partner. By June 2014, China’s cumulative investment in Myanmar had reached 14.251 billion USD, 30% of Myanmar’s total FDI.

U Ye Htut acknowledged that rising Chinese investment in Myanmar has been helpful for its economic development. However, due to cultural differences, it has also created conflicts and problems.

He said: “Some Chinese may not be familiar with Myanmar’s traditions and customs. Some of their behavior may not be totally accepted to Myanmar society.”

Looking into the future, U Ye Htut hopes to expand bilateral interactions from inter-government level to people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

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