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A Typical Reporting on Burma by Chi

Date: 12/23/97
Author: by China Daily 

	Myanmar's membership to organization accepted 

     BANGKOK (Agencies via Xinhua) -- Asia's latest regional grouping, 
an economic alliance of nations from the south and southeast of the 
continent, is admitting Myanmar as its newest member. 
    Myanmar was enrolled into the group, known as BIST-EC, in a move 
members hope will provide a missing link -- and a valuable land bridge 
-- to expand trade, investment and joint development between Southeast 
and South Asia. 
     "Myanmar has become the fifth member of the grouping, and its 
admission officially changes its name," a Thai Foreign Ministry official 
said yesterday. 
     Admission of military-run Myanmar comes amid a diplomatic spat 
between Asian and European countries over Rangoon's admission to another 
group: the Asia-Europe Meeting group (ASEM). 
     The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) wants to see 
Yangon embraced by ASEM, and to have it attend next year's ASEM summit 
in London. 
     But European nations have opposed the move. 
     Myanmar's admission to the business group, formed in June, changes 
the name of BIST-EC to BIMST-EC -- or theBangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri 
Lanka and Thailand Economic Co-operation forum. 
     Talks between member-nations will concentrate on economic, not 
political, issues, Thai officials said. 
     "Ministerial meetings today (Monday) will focus on economic 
co-operation between the countries," officials said. 
     Member countries' deputy foreign ministers were in Bangkok for 
yesterday's one-day meeting, with the exception of India, which was 
represented by the Foreign Ministry's permanent secretary. 
     Myanmar was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Nyunt Swe, a 
Thai official told reporters. 
     Myanmar military junta seized power in the 1980s and disregarded 
polls in 1989, a landslide win by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's 
National League for Democracy (NLD). 
     It has clung onto power ever since. 
     Senior officials from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand met 
from Friday to Sunday, with Myanmar attending as an observer. Talks 
touched on the impact of Southeast Asia's currency turmoil, among other 

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