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Ties with Myanmar not at China's expense: Hillary

May 18, 2012 18:42 IST

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin have said normalisation of their ties is not at the expense of China.

"The United States does not expect any country to give up relationships with their neighbours. China is a neighbour, and there are longstanding ties that certainly are deep in the soils of both nations," Clinton told reporters at joint press availability with Lwin.

"What we are doing is providing additional support for the kind of development, both politically and economically, that the reform process, which the government in Nay Pyi Taw has begun, has made possible," Clinton said when asked about the Chinese apprehension if any on US-Myanmar ties.

"Because we do value representative government, democracy, good working conditions, protection of the environment, the kinds of things that the US stands for, we hope that our relationship can be one that is very supportive of what I am told are the steps the government and the people themselves wish to take," she said.

US-Myanmar ties are not about any other nation, Clinton said adding this is between them.

"This is rooted in the changes we have watched happen and our desire to support the continuation of those changes. And we fully expect that there will be many countries, as you've already seen, who want to develop stronger and better relationships in the neighbourhood, in the region, and around the world. And we think that's good to open up the country, give the people more opportunities. So we are very pleased to be a partner in this," she said.

Responding to a question, Lwin said Myanmar has a very long, traditional, and historical relation with China.

"We have very good relations with China, as we are neighbouring countries sharing the common border of more than 2,000 kilometres. So we are cooperating with China. We are inviting investments. There are investments from China," he said.

Myanmar, he said, wants to have good, friendly relations with – relationships with all the countries around the world.

"In this aspect, we are working closely with United States to have a strong bilateral relation with United States also," he said.

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