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International relations

China and Myanmar agree to accelerate key Belt and Road port

Deep-sea project will give Beijing vital access to Indian Ocean

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw on Jan. 18. (Pool photo)   © Reuters

NAYPYIDAW/BEIJING -- China and Myanmar on Saturday signed 33 agreements that will further strengthen economic ties between the countries, including a port project that will give Beijing a crucial pathway to the Indian Ocean.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi agreed to the projects in a meeting in Myanmar's capital. The meeting presented Xi an opportunity to accelerate the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative at a time when Western nations are pulling back from Myanmar over its treatment of ethnic minority Rohingya. 

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