Chinese President Xi Jinping will be making a trip to Myanmar on January 17 to sign infrastructure deals and attempt to increase his country's influence on a nation whose relations with the West were strained following allegations that it allowed genocide against Rohingya Muslims. According to reports, Jinping will attempt to re-start infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars and which are significant to the Belt and Road Initiative. He will be the Chinese President to visit Myanmar in a period of 19 years. According to reports, Jinping will be meeting Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing and Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital city of Naypyitaw. He will also be meeting the chief of minor political parties.
China's vice foreign minister Luo Zhaohui stated that the purpose of the visit will be to strengthen relations between both the countries, Belt and Road cooperation and actualise the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), a number of infrastructure projects connecting China with Myanmar. It is an economic corridor of the Belt and Road initiative. Luo further added that the meeting will yield great outcomes and results. According to reports, China is the second-biggest investor in Myanmar after Singapore. Myanmar's exports to China had a worth of $5.5 billion in the year 2018 while imports were worth $6.2 billion.
Relations between China and Myanmar have normalised after China refrained from berating Myanmar after a military campaign in the year 2017 compelled more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to the country of Bangladesh. United Nations officials have long condemned Myanmar's actions against Rohingya's to have a genocidal intent.
However, Myanmar responded by stating that its offensive was a proper counter-insurgency operation after militants attacked the country's security forces. China is a permanent member of the United Nations security council and has defended Myanmar on an international level.
According to reports, Aung San Suu Kyi visited a region bordering China days before President's Xi Jinping's visit to Myanmar on January 17. She asked the people in the region to focus on the present situation and sought for a peaceful environment in the region where clashes between insurgents and the army have been reported over the issue of autonomy and resources.