China and Myanmar should strengthen mutual learning about each other's civilizations and consolidate their bilateral friendship through jointly hosting a number of celebratory events, President Xi Jinping said on Friday on the first day of his state visit to Myanmar.
He made the remarks during a speech at the launching ceremony of the China-Myanmar Year of Culture and Tourism held in the country's capital.
The launching ceremony is an important event that marks the glorious history of friendly communications between the two countries, Xi said, adding that the China-Myanmar friendship is thousands of years old.
The two sides will host a string of events this year to expand exchanges and cooperation on education, religion, media, movies and television. The events are expected to help strengthen public support for China-Myanmar friendship, thus cementing and re-energizing the pauk-phaw friendship, Xi said.
In the local language, pauk-phaw refers to siblings from the same mother. It is a description of the fraternal sentiments between the people of the two countries, whose close ties reach to ancient times.
Noting that China will secure victory on its path of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects this year, Xi said the two countries should enhance practical cooperation to bring more benefits to the people in the new era.
He said uneven and unfair issues remain in international affairs, and China and Myanmar should make joint efforts to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Accompanied by Myanmar President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Xi visited a photo exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations before the launching ceremony. The leaders watched a performance by artists of the two countries after the ceremony.
In a statement delivered upon his arrival at Nay Pyi Taw International Airport on Friday afternoon, Xi called China and Myanmar friendly neighbors that are linked by the same mountains and rivers.
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