China stands with Myanmar despite Rohingya backlash, inks dozens of deals

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 18, 2020, 07.22 PM(IST)

President Xi Jinping and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar Photograph:( Reuters )

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Xi Jinping also met Myanmar army chief, who is accused of overseeing a genocide against Rohingya Muslims.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday doubled down on his support to Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, signing a number of infrastructure and trade deals in his state visit to Myanmar.   

Jinping also met Myanmar army chief, who is accused of overseeing a genocide against Rohingya Muslims.

Also read: Myanmar, China ink deals to accelerate Belt and Road project as Xi meets Suu Kyi

China reaffirmed its strong support to a nation that is isolated for its treatment to Rohingya minorities. Nearly 740,000 Rohinyas flee to Bangladesh after a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar, which is described as a genoicide by the UN investigators. 

China "firmly supports Myanmar's efforts to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and national dignity in the international arena" and for it to advance "peace, stability and development in Rakhine State", said the joint statement released by Chinese state media. 

Over 30 agreements were signed on the last day of Xi's visit. China now is Myanmar's largest investor. 

Suu Kyi, whose reputation was tarnished in the West due to Rohingya crisis, said that the country will always be in China's side. 

However, the distrust over China's intentions was apparent in Myanmar as dozens protested in Yangon against any reinstatement of a controversial Chinese-backed mega-dam.

Protesters carried signs that called for "termination" of the $3.6 billion Myitsone project. 

The project was suspended in 2011 after a nationwide condemnation.