Published on Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:32
Aung San Suu Kyi Delivered a speech at Rotary Global Peace Forum (Photo - Alex Bitter/Ka Leo O hwaii)
Myanmar must maintain close ties with China as it establishes a new relationship with the United States, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said during her recent visit to the US state of Hawaii.
“I shouldn’t think relations with China will change because you have to remember that we always have had a very good relationship with China from the very beginning of the Communist government there,” Suu Kyi said. “At that time, Myanmar [was] working towards democracy. Even then, we maintained very good relations with our neighbours, including China.”
She said that Myanmar did not have to choose between the two countries. The relationship with the United States does not need to be “exclusive”, she said. “We need to be friends of both. China is a neighbour and the US is a very, very powerful nation that is eager to help an emerging democracy,” she explained after a forum in Honolulu last week.
Earlier, during Saturday’s address to the Rotary Global Peace Forum, the chair of the National League for Democracy spoke on a wide range of issues, including peace and prosperity, cultural diversity, healthcare and education. She also received the Hawaii Peace Award for her commitment to nonviolent activism and human rights.
During her visit to the state, Aung San Suu Kyi met high school students and told them that peace required courage and kindness. Courage is not only a trait to show on the battlefield, it also takes courage to be generous, she said.
The Nobel laureate spoke about her life under house arrest, saying she believed peace for Myanmar was near when she was released. Peace requires honesty and simplicity, she told the students. Courage is also necessary, she reiterated.
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