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Posted on Nov 29, 02:37PM | IANS
Chinese companies' investments in Myanmar are facing huge challenges, said a state-run Chinese daily that called upon Beijing to "exert some influence".
An article in the Global Times Thursday cited the example of the Letpadaung copper mine project, jointly established by China and Myanmar, which has become the target of growing protests.
Leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has said she will visit the area. She has also insisted that Myanmar should stick to its agreement with Chinese companies.
The daily said it will be "a lose-lose situation for China and Myanmar if the project is halted".
"Only third parties, including some Western forces, will be glad to see this result," it added.
The article said protesters first asked for more compensation but now want to stop this project and are demanding that the Chinese company leave.
"There are definitely some Westerners and NGOs instigating these protesters," it claimed.
"More importantly, however, Myanmar's political climate has changed and the government cannot control public opinion."
The daily said Chinese companies' investments in Myanmar are "facing huge challenges".
"They need support from the country. China is able to exert some influence. We must not give up on the project. Even if it is eventually stopped, Chinese companies should receive compensation according to the contract and international practice," it said.
"Regardless of the result, China need not lose confidence in its peripheral diplomacy due to the failure of its investments in Myanmar. What we see in the country is the inevitable impact of its democratization," the article added.
It went on to say that Chinese companies should focus more on the people of the countries they invest in. "It is the objective requirement of the wave of democratization that has swept over poor countries."
The daily said that democracy has brought hope in Myanmar, but has also blocked a major construction project instead of liberating productive forces.
"This kind of democracy can neither bring high growth for the Myanmar economy nor result in tangible benefits for the people. Western countries' lifting of sanctions cannot bring wealth. The prosperity of Myanmar ultimately depends on its people's efforts."