China and Myanmar ink 33 deals

Nay Pyi Taw: China and Myanmar on Saturday inked 33 deals aimed at speeding up key infrastructure projects to provide Beijing a stepping stone to the Indian Ocean after a meeting between President Xi Jinping and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as the Communist nation ramped up support to cement its hold over the Southeast Asian country under fire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

Holding talks with Xi on the final day of his two-day visit, Suu Kyi slammed the western countries for criticising Myanmar over the handling of the Rohingya issue.

Over 7.3 lakh Rohingya Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh alleging attacks by the Myanmar army, triggering a global refugee crisis.

Xi and Suu Kyi signed 33 agreements, covering areas such as politics, trade, investment and people-to-people communications, shoring up mammoth projects that are part of the flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China's vision of new trade routes described as a "21st century silk road".

Suu Kyi said Myanmar hoped China would continue to maintain justice for middle and small countries including Myanmar.

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