Military-run Burma's top leader General Than Shwe arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for
a state visit to China, his country's closest ally.
China strongly backs Burma,
called Myanmar by its military rulers, in the international arena, and provides it
with vital economic and diplomatic support.
The Executive Director of the
The Burma Campaign UK, Anna Roberts, says the visit is important for shoring up the
relationship between the two countries.
“It is one of the major suppliers of
military arms for the regime,” she told Vatican Radio. “It also provides political
support, as China defends Burma in the international arena, such as the UN Security
Council, ASEAN, and international meetings.”
During his visit, Than Shwe will
meet President Hu Jintao along with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and other senior Chinese
officials in the capital.
Roberts says support for Burma’s regime is not in
the long-term security interest of China.
“The longer this regime stays in
power,” she says, “the more unstable it will get.”