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High-ranking delegation from secret

High-ranking delegation from secretive Myanmar junta to visit China

    AFP, Rangoon, 4 June 2000. General Maung Aye, vice-chairman of
the Myanmar junta, will visit China from June 5-12, where he
will commemorate diplomatic relations between the two states, official
sources said.

Official sources in Yangon told AFP the visit will celebrate the fiftieth
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China
and Myanmar.

During Maung Aye's visit, China and Myanmar are expected to sign a
"broad framework on bilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century,"
officials in Yangon said.

The sources also said the high-level Myanmar delegation, which
includes Foreign Minister Win Aung and Military Affairs Minister
Lt Gen Tin Hla, will attempt to strengthen military ties between the two

China, the first country to recognise Myanmar's military regime after
it seized power in a bloody coup in September 1988, is the junta's main
arms supplier.

According to official sources in Yangon, the junta'a army chief of staff
Lt Gen Tin Oo made an unpublicized trip to China on May 23 allegedly
to make new arms purchases.

Since 1988, senior Myanmar generals have made frequent visits to China
and several high-ranking Chinese officials have travelled to Yangon.

Chinese State Councillor Ismail Amat met the leader of Myanmar's military
junta, Senior General Than Shwe on Friday, state television reported.

Neither Than Shwe nor Ismail Amat released any details of the meeting
saying only the talks had been "friendly and amicable."

This visit will be Maung Aye's third trip to China since 1991.

The military has been in control of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma,
in various guises since 1962.