– VOA News
Burma’s top leader, General Than Shwe, arrived in Beijing Tuesday for a state visit ahead of national elections this fall.
China strongly backs Burma and provides it with key economic and diplomatic support. Burma’s ruling military has been largely shunned by the West because of its poor human rights record and failure to hand over power to the opposition party that won elections 20 years ago.
Than Shwe is expected to meet with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior Chinese officials during his five-day visit.
Though no details have been released about their agenda, experts expect talks to center on Burma’s upcoming elections and economic deals signed by Mr. Wen earlier this year.
Than Shwe will also visit the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and economic hub Shenzhen in south China’s Guangdong province before returning home on Saturday.