China has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Myanmar on the joint construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which analysts said is a further sign of Myanmar's willingness to integrate and benefit from the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative.
He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, and Myanmese Minister of Planning and Finance U Soe Win, represented the two nations in signing the MOUs on Sunday, according to a statement published on the NDRC website on Monday.
CMEC, an important part of the B&R initiative, is a 1,700-kilometer-long corridor that connects Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province, with three economic centers in Myanmar - Mandalay, Yangon New City and Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone. The corridor marks the largest foreign investment in Myanmar in years, media reports said.
"CMEC is an agreement that combines China's demands with the development impulses of Myanmar, allowing Myanmar's most developed regions to boost trade connectivity with China, while also providing China with an alternative way to transfer oil from the Indian Ocean," Xu Liping, an expert in Southeast Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.