China must pursue economic integration with countries like Bangladesh to promote “a string of active economic development zones surrounding India”, a Chinese newspaper has reported. “China should keep a close eye on economic cooperation with some South Asian countries like Bangladesh to promote economic integration,” a report in the state-run Global Times said on Tuesday. “This could promote the formation of a string of active economic development zones surrounding India, which would not be a bad thing if it could place pressure on New Delhi to deepen its economic cooperation with neighbouring countries.”
The daily added that hopefully India could make a greater contribution to improving infrastructure in Myanmar under the framework of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. “This would help to connect the markets in India, China and Southeast Asia, the world’s three most active economic regions.” The report said that as a key strategic location connecting China and India, Myanmar was reportedly ramping up efforts to make itself a new offshore trading hub in Asia.
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As Myanmar’s largest trade partner and largest source of investment, China was crucial for Myanmar’s external-policy strategy. It said that India was going all out to make the visit by Myanmar’s military chief a resounding success following tensions on the border between India and China, “but there is no reason for China to feel any anxiety”.
“Myanmar is unlikely to do a stupid thing like supporting India’s stand on the tensions in the border area as that would risk cutting its economic ties with China. “There is tremendous potential for further economic and trade cooperation between China and Myanmar,” it added.