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Friday, June 5, 2015, 18:21

Myanmar's Suu Kyi to make 1st China visit

By Agencies
Myanmar's Suu Kyi to make 1st China visit
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses supporters during a rally at Than Phyu Zayat township at Mawlamya ing, Mon State on May 17, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung THU)

BEIJING/YANGON - Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson for Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, will lead a delegation to visit China next week.

She will stay in China from June 10 to 14 at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee confirmed on its website on Friday. It is her first visit to China.

"This is an important party-to-party exchange for the CPC. State and Party leaders will meet with the delegation," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

Party-to-party exchange is "an important component" of China-Myanmar relations. China has maintained long-term friendly exchanges with all parties in Myanmar, including the NLD, Hong said.

"We hope this visit will strengthen communication and understanding between both sides and further the friendly cooperation in various fields," the spokesperson added.

Suu Kyi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Kegiang during her trip, said Nyan Win, secretary and spokesman for the NLD.

The NLD is expected to do well in a general election in November, the first free vote in the country for 25 years. Suu Kyi is excluded from the presidency under a military-drafted constitution, but her power and influence will grow if the NLD performs as well as expected.

Suu Kyi led the NLD to a sweeping victory in general elections in 1990, but the military government refused to recognize the results.

She became an international icon after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her pro-democracy efforts and spent most of the next two decades under house arrest where she continued to resist Myanmar's military rulers. She was freed in 2010.

The relationship between China and Myanmar has been strained this year as stray Myanmar army shells have killed at least five Chinese people over the border in China's southwestern Yunnan province.

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