Chinese frigates pay port call at Myanmar's old capital

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2016 9:14 AM
Chinese frigates pay port call at Myanmar's old capital

THILAWA, Myanmar (AP) — Two Chinese naval frigates are paying a port call near Myanmar's old capital, Yangon.

The Zhoushan and the Xiangtan berthed Friday at Thilawa, the deep-water port south of the city, as Myanmar military dignitaries waved in welcome.

China has been wooing its fast-growing neighbor after relations cooled earlier this decade. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won an election in November 2015, has shown a renewed willingness to embrace China, the country's top trading partner and investor, since her government took power in March.

"Our two militaries are friends and partners. We are close brothers," China's ambassador to Myanmar, Hong Liang, said after the ships' arrival.

The five-day visit is meant to strengthen cooperation and communication, the Chinese government said.

The Zhoushan and Xiangtan are returning from a four-month mission to escort Chinese and other ships transporting humanitarian aid in the Middle East.

It is the second such port call in Myanmar in recent years.