BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will pay an official visit to China from Wednesday to Sunday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The following are major facts about the visit.
WHY INVITED BY PREMIER LI
Aung San Suu Kyi is the first Myanmar leader to visit China since the Southeast Asian nation's new government was formed in late March. She visited China in June 2015 as chair of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Although constitutional rules bar Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president, she is still considered as an icon in the current Myanmar government.
State counselor is a new position created by the new Myanmar government.Analysts say that Aung San Suu Kyi, considered as Myanmar's second figure after the president, is the country's "de facto premier."
In June, Aung San Suu Kyi paid a three-day official visit to Thailand at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Considering Aung San Suu Kyi's rank in Myanmar and China's diplomatic protocol, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang invited her to visit China and China will receive the leader with due etiquette, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday.
Aung San Suu Kyi's China visit has attracted great attention because of herself -- a Myanmar stateswoman with a tortuous life.
The youngest daughter of Aung San, Father of the Nation of modern-day Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi became NLD general-secretary in 1988.
In the 1990 elections, the NLD won 81 percent of the seats in Parliament, but the results were nullified, as the military government refused to hand over power.
Aung San Suu Kyi remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010.
In 2013, Aung San Suu Kyi announced she would run for president but a clause in the Constitution -- her late husband and children are foreign citizens -- prohibited her from becoming the president. In the 2015 elections, her party won a landslide victory.
WHY SHE CHOOSES CHINA
China is the first major country Aung San Suu Kyi will visit after she took office and visited Laos and Thailand as Myanmar's state counselor.
Some Myanmar experts say the destinations of Aung San Suu Kyi's first overseas visits can be considered as an indicator of the new government's diplomacy -- developing friendly relations with neighboring countries first and then with major countries.
Myanmar media reports said that Aung San Suu Kyi chose China before she visits the United States out of the new government's strategy of rebalancing between China and the West.
Currently, China is Myanmar's most important trade partner and one of the main sources of foreign direct investment.
However, problems, such as armed conflicts in northern Myanmar that once undermined peace and stability in the border areas between China and Myanmar as well as the suspended Myitsone dam project, have emerged in the development of bilateral ties.
Still, the visit to China -- the first country outside the Association of Southeast Nations that Aung San Suu Kyi visits after she came to power -- holds great significance to the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries in the new phase.
WHO MAKES ADVANCE PREPARATIONS
To reinvigorate their ties, China and Myanmar have conducted bilateral exchanges at various levels.
Song Tao, minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), paid a good-will visit to Myanmar from Wednesday to Sunday. Song and Aung San Suu Kyi held a meeting on Thursday.
Noting that China and Myanmar have deep paukphaw (fraternal) friendship and development of China-Myanmar friendly ties conforms to the fundamental interest of the two countries, Song voiced support for Myanmar in its pursuit of a development path in accordance with its national conditions.
Song expressed willingness to render assistance for Myanmar's stability and development, hoping that the two countries' ruling parties would enhance exchange and cooperation to promote the development of bilateral relations.
Aung San Suu Kyi said the Myanmar side attaches great importance to the development of the Myanmar-China ties, anticipating that her upcoming visit to China would lift the two countries' cooperation to a higher level.
She expressed the aspiration of her National League for Democracy to deepen exchange with the CPC and continuously strengthen mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides.
Zhou Shixin, a research fellow with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Song's visit prior to Aung San Suu Kyi's China visit, during which they conducted in-depth exchanges and early-stage communications for important meetings between leaders of the two parties, will provide more targeted and constructive topics for cooperation in more areas and add impetus to the development of bilateral ties.
Since April, Aung San Suu Kyi, as Myanmar's foreign minister, has met with her counterparts from several countries, among whom Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the first she met.
In her upcoming visit, Aung San Suu Kyi will hold talks with Chinese leaders and exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. Apart from Beijing, Aung San Suu Kyi will also visit other Chinese cities, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang.
Fan Hongwei, an expert on Myanmar issues with China's Xiamen University, said Aung San Suu Kyi's visit will touch upon the principles and directions for the development of the China-Myanmar relations, including the Paukphaw (fraternal) friendship between the two peoples, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, stability and cooperation in the region especially in the border areas, national reconciliation in Myanmar and Chinese investment in the country.