【英语中国】外交部证实中国驻缅甸大使会见昂山素季

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2011-12-19 08:28

小艾摘要: China's ambassador to Myanmar met with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a government spokesman, in a potential signal that Beijing hopes to take a greater role in the Southeast Asian nati ...
China's ambassador to Myanmar met with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a government spokesman, in a potential signal that Beijing hopes to take a greater role in the Southeast Asian nation's political transformation.

China also said Dai Bingguo, a top Foreign Ministry official, will attend an economic-cooperation forum in Myanmar beginning next week.

Observers have said China was caught flat-footed by Myanmar's new openness to the West, which comes as the long-ostracized country seeks to reduce its reliance on Chinese military and economic support. Some say a strain with China helped spark Myanmar's recent shifts.

At a daily press briefing on Thursday, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China's ambassador met with Ms. Suu Kyi at her request. Mr. Liu didn't say when the meeting was held, saying 'the date is not important,' and declined to offer additional details. He also wouldn't confirm whether the meeting was the first between a Chinese official and Ms. Suu Kyi.

Ye Htut, a spokesman for Myanmar's Ministry of Information, said the government was unaware of the meeting. 'Even if such a meeting took place, it is NLD's affair,' he said, referring to Ms. Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy. He added, 'all embassies and all parties have the right to meet with each other.'

Ms. Suu Kyi has long reached out to foreign leaders and has embraced a U.S. push to re-engage with Myanmar.

Myanmar's military-dominated government─which has long kept a tight grip on the country, to the frustration of Western leaders─has pushed a series of reforms in recent months that led to the release of Ms. Suu Kyi and hundreds of other opposition figures and loosened restrictions on domestic media and the Internet. In response, Hillary Clinton paid the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state in more than 50 years to Myanmar two weeks ago and said the U.S. could countenance an eventual easing of sanctions to punish Myanmar's poor human-rights record, provided the Myanmar government satisfied American demands.

China's response was initially cool, with Mr. Liu saying last month that Chinese leaders 'hope the domestic and foreign policies of Myanmar are conducive to peace and stability in Myanmar.' Since then Chinese officials have expressed more support for closer U.S.-Myanmar ties.

Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Peking University in Beijing, said Thursday's comments suggest China is further warming up. 'These signs are very encouraging,' Mr. Zhu said. 'It's some sort of signal that Beijing would like to lend a hand and support the new dynamic, the new political transformation.'

China in the past has enjoyed close relations with Myanmar, a strategically important nation in the eyes of Beijing, and Chinese investment had filled a void left by Western sanctions against Myanmar. The two countries are currently building an oil and natural-gas pipeline that would give China an alternative to sending tankers through the Malacca Strait, a shipping choke point closely watched by the U.S. Navy.

But China's growing military presence on Myanmar's border and its efforts to secure natural resources have been unpopular in Myanmar. Its leaders in September suspended the construction of a China-backed dam that had been a sore point among its opposition groups.

China's leaders typically cite the importance of nations' sovereignty in their international dealings, and meetings with opposition leaders are unusual. Mr. Zhu said Ms. Suu Kyi now plays a bigger role in the political process after Myanmar's leaders removed a longtime ban on her party. She is expected to run for a seat in the country's parliament when elections occur.

政府发言人说,中国驻缅甸大使会见了诺贝尔和平奖得主昂山素季(Aung San Suu Kyi)。这可能是一个信号,说明北京希望在这个东南亚国家的政治转型过程中发挥更大作用。

中国方面还说,中国国务委员戴秉国将出席下周开始在缅甸举行的一场经济合作论坛。

曾有观察者说,长期孤立的缅甸最近对西方抱开放态度,同时寻求减少对中国军事、经济援助的依赖,让中国措手不及。一些人说,与中国的矛盾在一定程度上引发了缅甸最近的变化。

周四举行的每日记者会上,中国外交部发言人刘为民说,昂山素季女士多次提出希同中方接触,中国驻缅大使同其会面,就是对此所作回应。刘为民没有说会见是在什么时候举行的,只说日期并不重要,并拒绝透露更多细节。他还拒绝证实这是否是中国官员第一次与昂山素季会面。

缅甸宣传部发言人Ye Htut说,政府对这次会见不知情。他说,即使确有这样的会见,那也是全国民主联盟(National League for Democracy,昂山素季的政党)的事情。他还说,所有大使馆人员、所有各党派人士都有权相互会见。

昂山素季长期主动接触外国领导人,并对美国为重新与缅甸进行接触而做出的努力表示欢迎。

长期以来,以军方为主导的缅甸政府一直紧握大权,这让西方国家领导人感到不满。不过,近几个月来,缅甸推出了一系列改革措施,包括释放昂山素季等数百名反对派人物,并对国内媒体和互联网放宽了限制。作为回应,美国国务卿克林顿(Hillary Clinton)两周前访问了缅甸,这是50多年来第一次有美国国务卿到访缅甸。她说,美国或许会对最终减轻为惩罚缅甸恶劣人权记录而实施的制裁表示赞同,条件是缅甸政府满足美国的要求。

最初,中国的反应较为冷淡。刘为民上个月说,中国领导人“希望缅甸的内外政策有利于缅甸的和平与稳定”。从那以来,中国官员对美国与缅甸加强关系表达了更多的支持。

北京大学国际关系学院教授朱锋说,周四的表态说明中国在进一步热身。他说,这些迹象非常鼓舞人心,说明北京愿意伸出援手支持这种新的发展、新的政治转型。

过去,中国与缅甸关系密切,中国的投资填补了西方制裁缅甸所留下的空白。在北京看来,缅甸是一个具有重要战略地位的国家。两国目前正在修建一条油气管道,这条管道将使中国获得一条新的石油运送途径,而不再只是让油轮驶经美国海军密切注视下的航运要道马六甲海峡。

但中国在缅甸边境驻军的增加,以及中国为获取自然资源所做的努力,在缅甸国内不受欢迎。缅甸领导人9月份叫停了一个有中国支持、让反对团体强烈不满的大坝建设项目。

中国领导人在处理国际问题时往往强调国家主权,与反对派领导人会见的举动相当不同寻常。朱锋说,在缅甸领导人解除对昂山素季政党的长期禁令后,她现在在政治进程中扮演着更重要的角色。预计她会在缅甸举行议会选举时谋求一个席位。

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