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Massive dam project at center of China-Myanmar talks

Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has made her first visit to China, where the issue of a stalled Chinese hydro-dam project in Myanmar's north featured in discussions.

Yun Sun, a senior associate with the East Asia Program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, cautioned that China's support always comes at a price in a commentary she wrote about Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to China for the Myanmar online news site Mizzima on Thursday.

If Suu Kyi is to succeed in charming both China and her own people, she will have to find a way to allow the project to go ahead under different circumstances.

However, ties between the two neighbours have frayed, especially over the Myitsone Dam, a Chinese investment project in Myanmar that was suspended in 2011, which Suu Kyi too had opposed at the time.

With a total of $15.4 billion of approved investments in Myanmar, China is by far its largest foreign investor, despite reforms in recent years that have seen Western firms surge back.

"Both Myanmar and China know, as Myanmar's northern neighbour, China can help Myanmar in ways that the United States cannot", Mr Ji Qiufeng, a professor of global relations at Nanjing University, was quoted as saying by the newspaper. Myitsone Dam is without doubt a key project for the Myanmese economy.

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Clashes between Kurds and Syrian Troops Force Scores to Flee
Ankara also considers the YPG a terrorist organization because of its links to Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. It said clashes were also taking place around Hasaka.

Li called on the two sides to properly promote major projects, including the Myitsone Dam and the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline, to improve infrastructure construction and connectivity, according to Liu.

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to discuss the status of controversial dam project among other matters during her official visit to China this week.

"China approves of this", he said, adding: "China and Myanmar are linked by mountains and rivers". The Irrawaddy noted that Myanmar's "main and immediate concern is how to make use of Chinese influence on the ethnic armed organisations along the Sino-Burma border".

Suu Kyi is keen to solicit China's help on domestic peace talks to end conflicts in northern Myanmar near the border with China. She visited China in June 2015 as chair of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

Li also said China respects Myanmar's sovereignty and territorial integrity and will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peaceful settlement of hostilities between armed ethnic groups and the national government in northern Myanmar.

After the meeting, two agreements were signed on economic and technological cooperation between the two countries. "Suu Kyi will also pay visit to other cities, including Xian in Shaanxi Province and Kunming in Yunnan province", said Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin.

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