Thursday, December 27, 2012

Burmese President meets China’s copper mine backer

Thursday, 27 December 2012 16:21 Xiao Ting Shirley

Burma’s President Thein Sein received a Chinese delegation of the defense industry giant China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday afternoon, his office announced on its website.

China's Wanbao Company are a major stakeholder at the Monywa copper mine project in Sagaing Division. (PHOTO: Hein Htet / Mizzima)

The high-level Chinese delegation was headed by the firms’ president Zhang Guoqing.

NORINCO is the parent company of Wanbao Company which has recently been embroiled in controversy over its investment in the Monywa copper mine where dozens of Buddhist monks and activists were injured last month when riot police stepped in to disperse anti-mine protests.

Established in 1979, China North Industries Corporation, or NORINCO, is one of China’s 500 biggest state-owned enterprises and the main import-export handler for China’s largest arms manufacturer.

“It mainly deals with defense products, petroleum & mineral resources exploitation, [and] international engineering contracting,” says NORINCO on its official website.

The US government announced sanctions against NORINCO for the sale of missile components to sanctioned states in 2003, with media reports indicating the state in question was Iraq.

At Wednesday’s high-level meeting, Thein Sein was joined by Ministers Lt- Gen Ko Ko and Hla Tun, Deputy Minister Thant Kyaw and departmental heads, as well as Chinese Ambassador to Burma Li Junhua.

“Matters related to [the] promotion of Sino-Burma relations and bilateral cooperation [were] discussed during the meeting, longing for long-term cooperation and making investments,” the Burmese President’s office said.
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