NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, April 4 (UPI) -- China pledged further assistance to its neighbor Myanmar, where the military recently announced transferral of power to a civilian government.
The assurance came from visiting Chinese top political adviser Jia Qinglin in his meeting with Myanmar President Thein Sein, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Jia said his government will continue to provide assistance within its capacity for the development of its southwestern neighbor, the report said. He said China supports Myanmar's development mode, chosen in accordance with the country's own conditions.
Thein Sein was quoted as saying Jia is the first foreign leader to visit Myanmar since the formation of the new government and assured his government's policy toward China will remain unchanged.
The military junta, which has ruled Myanmar, formerly called Burma, since 1962, recently announced the election of a civilian government led by Thein Sein, 65, a retired general and former prime minister under the Senior Gen. Than Shwe-led junta. China has been a close ally of the isolated country.
Jia said further development of bilateral relations conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week the military rulers in Myanmar must demonstrate their latest transfer of power is a genuine move away from military rule and stressed that "democratization and respect for human rights remains essential to laying the foundations for durable peace and development in the country."
Myanmar's new Parliament convened in February after elections in November that were widely criticized as designed to keep the military in power.