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Chinese military chief arrives in Myanmar

July 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM   |   Comments

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, July 22 (UPI) -- China is eager to expand on its bilateral strategic relationship with its counterparts in Myanmar, a visiting military general said Monday.

China's Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong arrived in Naypyitaw for an official visit Monday. It's part of a three-country tour taking him to Myanmar, Thailand and Kazakhstan.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported the visit is meant to bolster a strategic partnership between "the two armed forces and make joint efforts to maintain the regional peace and stability."

China last month pressed Myanmar to adhere to a peace initiative with the rebel Kachin independence movement.

The government in Myanmar declared a unilateral cease-fire in January following three weeks of clashes with Kachin separatists. Myanmar peace negotiator Aung Min said in May the Myanmar government was removing the Kachin independence group from a list of unlawful organizations.

Political reforms in Myanmar began with general elections in 2010. Ethnic fighting and general human rights complaints have overshadowed some of those reforms.

Fan meets Tuesday with his counterparts in the Myanmar military.

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