||Asean Affairs 29 May 2013
Thein Sein says pipeline is mutually beneficial
Myanmar President Thein Sein said during a meeting in Naypyitaw on Monday that the ongoing China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline is an important and mutually beneficial project, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency which quoted the president in talks with Liao Yongyuan, the general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the pipeline’s major financial backer.
“He [Thein Sein] said Myanmar is now opening up in all directions, but still will continue to maintain China-Myanmar friendship and strive to enhance the neighborly, friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries,” the report said.
Liao is reported as saying that CNPC attaches importance to the task of fulfilling its “social responsibility” in the course of the pipeline construction, as reflected by the construction of a number of school buildings and clinics along the pipeline.
The Chinese state media agency reported that Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tun also met with Liao's entourage, and that he spoke highly of CNPC's participation in Myanmar's social welfare undertakings.
China’s Ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan was also reported to be present at the meeting where Thein Sein told his hosts he welcomed Chinese companies investing in Myanmar and setting up oil refineries.
Meanwhile, another of the pipeline’s investors, South Korea’s Daewoo International, this week announced that it was aiming to begin transferring natural gas from the Myanmar port of Kyaukphyu to China’s Yunnan Province in July, according to oil and gas industry magazine, Upstream.
However, the report added that “security issues could delay this.”
The security issues undoubtedly refer to ongoing hostilities in northern Shan State—part of the route of the 800km trans-Myanmar pipeline—where Shan and Kachin armed groups continue an armed conflict against Myanmar government forces.