– VOA News
Burmese military junta leader General Than Shwe will visit China next week.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters in Beijing Thursday Than Shwe will arrive in the country next Tuesday, and hold talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. The general will also travel to Shanghai to see the World Expo during his four-day visit.
Yu says Chinese officials believe Than Shwe’s visit will contribute to the consolidation of the two nation’s “traditional friendship.”
China is Burma’s main ally and third largest trading partner. Burma’s military government has been shunned by the West for its suppression of political opposition and poor overall human rights record.
Burma announced earlier this month it will hold elections in November, the first of its kind in two decades. Ministry spokeswoman Yu says Beijing hopes the balloting goes smoothly and “contributes to democracy and development.”