Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends closing ceremony of 2023 Chinese New Year commemorative friendship basketball matches and Chinese New Year celebrations

NAY PYI TAW January 21

Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends closing ceremony of 2023 Chinese New Year commemorative friendship basketball matches and Chinese New Year celebrations

The closing ceremony of 2023 Chinese New Year commemorative friendship basketball matches and Chinese New Year celebrations were held at National Indoor Stadium 1 Thuwunna in Yangon this evening graced by Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla with their presence.

First, the Senior General and wife were warmly welcomed by Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Chen Hai, President of Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce U Aik Tun, the chairman of Myanmar Basketball Federation and officials. Accompanied by band troupes, participating basketball teams, Chinese Traditional Dragon Dance Troupes, Lion Dance Troupes, and cheerleaders saluted the Senior General at the basket matches closing ceremony.

Later, students of band troupes and cheerleaders of No 2 Basic Education High School (Latha), and Chinese Traditional Dragon Dance Troupe staged performances at the venue.

Also present were SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo and wife, SAC members, Union ministers and their wives, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Soe Thein and wife, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief and their wives, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Chen Hai and officials, the Yangon Command commander, officials of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce, China-Myanmar Friendship Association, Myanmar Basket Federation, honoured guests, Myanmar citizens of Chinese ancestry, and students of Sports and Physical Science Institute (Yangon).

Basketball team of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Myanmar and Youth Basketball team played in the first friendship match, and the Chinese Embassy team and former Myanmar basketball player’s team played in the second match. The Senior General and wife and attendees watched the matches.

On arrival at the venue of the Chinese New Year Festival, the Senior General and wife and attendees were honoured with Chinese traditional towels.

SAC members, the chief minister, the commander, the Chinese ambassador and officials formally opened the New Year ceremony by cutting the ribbon.

The Senior General and the ambassador formally launched the New Year celebrations by pushing the button.

After that, the Chinese New Year celebration began and the Senior General and his wife and those who attended the ceremony watched a tribute performance by traditional Chinese dragon dance groups. They took photos together with the dance groups, and toured the traditional Chinese culture galleries and shops. After that, they watched and cheered for the Chinese New Year fireworks display.

After that, the 2023 Chinese New Year Friendship Basketball Tournament and the Chinese New Year Celebration Dinner were held. First, a traditional Chinese lion eye-opening cere-mony was held and the Senior General and his wife painted the traditional Chinese lion in accordance with Chinese traditions.

After that, the Prime Minister, in his greetings for the Chinese New Year Festival, said that according to the calendar commonly used in the world, New Year’s Day is generally regarded as January 1, but the ethnic groups living in the world have their own calendars and their own New Year’s Day. Tomorrow, January 22, is also the New Year’s Day of the Chinese people, who currently have the largest population in the world. It is an honour to have the opportunity to say greeting words on such a day. The New Year is the transition from the old year to the new year. At the time of such a transition, all of them must carefully study and analyze the good and bad things they experienced in the previous year, analyze and criticize them, and work together to help each other to improve in the new year. All of them include individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities, and countries.

The year 2023 is the traditio-nal Chinese year of the Rabbit. According to the Chinese zodiac, it is the fourth year and means affection, peace, and prosperity. They carry out lovely tradi-tions such as cleaning the house before the New Year, putting greeting letters on the doors, families reuniting no matter how far away, eating the New Year’s meal together with the family, waiting for the first bell of the New Year, and greeting relatives, etc. In today’s ceremo-ny, families living in the same house and friends and relatives living under the same land and under the same roof reunited and welcomed the New Year. It is also a valuable combination of the New Year.

During the reigns of ancient Myanmar kings, the two king-doms established friendly re-lations by paving golden and silver roads. There are records that a Pyu diplomatic delegation visited and presented artistic performance in China during the reign of the Tang Dynasty in about 802 AD and Sayadaw Shin Ditha Pamauk went to China as a peace envoy to China during the reign of King Narathihapate. Myanmar issued a statement recognizing the People’s Republic of China on 1 December, 1949.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries was establi-shed on 8 June, 1950 and 8 June this year will mark the 73th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. On 1 October in 1960, former prime minister U Nu and prime minister Zhou Enlai signed the Myan-mar-China border agreement.

The relations between the two countries is termed as Pauk-Phaw friendship and it can be seen that Myanmar shares more than 2,200 kilometer long border with China while the Thanlwin River flows through both countries. Ethnic people of Myanmar live in China while Chinese descendants reside in Myanmar peacefully.

Successful life path of an individual calls not only for appro-priate efforts of that individual but also for a favourable environ-ment and societies. In the same way, development of a country requires not only the efforts of that country but also good nei-ghbours that share borders with it. Myanmar and China are mutually good neighbours. Myanmar is a country that has adopted an independent and active foreign policy and five principles of peaceful co-existe-nce. During an interview with Phoenix TV on 20 May, 2021, in China, I responded that trust in bilateral relations and friend-ship is the best way to deal with neighbours and neighbours were required to be closest good friends next door. Myanmar would deal with its five neigh-bours friendly and China and Myanmar were the first coun-tries that signed the principles of peaceful co-existence in the world. Although they were my responses to the interview questions, it cannot be denied that it is the stance of Myanmar on its neighbours.

China issued the third white-paper concerning China (Taipei) on 10 August, 2022. Myanmar has supported the one China policy as a good neighbour in accordance with a Myanmar saying ‘Keep one’s own precepts whosoever is breaching theirs.’

Myanmar has also welcomed and supported the efforts to cooperate with other countries to turn the world from the unipolar one to the multipolar one. Such efforts are of great benefits to developing countries like Myanmar. I would like to express my special gratitude to China for designating Myanmar as a dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Myanmar is a trustworthy neighbouring country that is not a two-face one for China and her citizens and Myanmar-born Chinese people. China is an important neighbouring country and a multi-strategy partner for Myanmar as well. On this auspicious Chinese New Year Day which falls on the Year of Rabbit, I wish for all to have more friendship, peace and prosperity and Myanmar-born Chinese people living in Myanmar, Chinese citizens in China and Chinese people over the world being happy, rich and all the best.

Then, the Chinese Ambassa-dor to Myanmar made a Chinese New Year wish saying it is the first time the Head of State himself attended the ceremony to mark the Chinese New Year and he thanked him for that. In the New Year, China, with Myanmar, will relay China-Myanmar Swemyo-Paukphaw friendship hand-in-hand and develop mutual interests for both citizens with the result of bilateral friendship by constantly building the community through thick and thin. He wishes bilateral relations and friendship to straighten more and exist in perpetuity. Afterward, the Chairman of the Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce extented New Year greetings.

Afterwards, the Senior Gen-eral and wife had dinner to mark Chinese New Year Day together with the attendees. During the dinner, the Chinese Band (Yunnan Communal Te-mple) presented music with the dance of Mingalar Dragon Team.

Then, Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn presented trophies to the Ministry of Home Affairs team who won the first prize in men’s open class of basketball competition, A-Studio team the first prize in women’s open class, Great Wall team the first prize in over-50 class (man) and Sweet Angle team the first prize in over-50 class(woman).

Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Soe Thein presented commemorative medals to the bas-ketball teams who took part in the competition.

Then, the Senior General and wife and guests enjoyed the entertainment program per-formed by the Chinese traditio-nal dance troupe and artists.

Afterward, the Senior General accepted the gift commemorating the Chinese New Year presented by the Chinese ambas-sador to Myanmar.

Then, the Senior General and wife presented a basket of flowers to the Chinese traditional dance troupe and artists and cordially greeted them.

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