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China's Ambassador to Burma Meets Aung San Suu Kyi

Burma democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (File Photo).

Burma democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (File Photo).

A Chinese official has held a rare meeting with Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin says Aung San Suu Kyi has asked several times to meet with Chinese officials.

Liu says the Chinese ambassador met her in response to her request, and listened to her opinions.

When asked when the meeting actually took place, the Chinese spokesman said the date is not important.

In Burma, officials with Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party said the two met on December 8. They did not release details of the talks, but indicated it was a friendly meeting that did not include much discussion about politics.

China, which has been criticized by Western countries for its own harsh treatment of outspoken Chinese dissidents, has been one of the Burmese government's closest diplomatic allies. It also strongly backed the military regime that kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for a total of nearly 15 years.

On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu indicated Beijing is ready to talk to people from all levels of Burmese society.

He says China will engage in contact with all sectors of Burmese society, under the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. He adds that for Beijing to talk to people committed to China-Burma friendship would be beneficial to people of both countries.

Since she was released from house arrest more than one year ago, Aung San Suu Kyi has publicly said she does not consider Beijing an enemy.

Meanwhile, the Chinese spokesman says China's top diplomat, State Councilor Dai Bingguo will travel to Burma next week (December 19) for a meeting of Mekong River countries.