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Handling Relations with Myanmar in a Chinese Way: A Personal Reflection

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During the political storm in Myanmar (Burma) in 1988, China adhered to a policy of non-interference, non-involvement and keeping aloof, in conformity with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which has been jointly initiated by China, India and Myanmar in 1954. This enabled China to restore gradually its traditional friendly relations with Myanmar when the situation became stable again after the military takeover in September 1988. At the same time, China kept friendly contacts with the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi until she was placed under house arrest in 1989. Cheng Ruisheng served as China’s Ambassador to Myanmar from 1987 to 1991 and is now the only person in the Chinese Foreign Ministry who is personally acquainted with Aung San Suu Kyi. By sharing recollections of his time in Yangon, Cheng Ruisheng provides valuable insights into the principles and practice of China’s diplomacy.

Affiliations: 1: Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China Beijing China, Email:


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