Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day visit to Myanmar, that saw dozens of mammoth trade and infrastructure deals being signed, comes as Western investors cast a wide berth around the country due to the Rohingya crisis.
President Xi Jinping in his visit to Naypidaw, met fallen rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi as Beijing doubles down on its support for the government that has been under fire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims. He also met with ministers relevant to each sector and powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has been accused of masterminding the Rohingya crackdown.
There is widespread suspicion regarding Beijing's influence in the country among people who are sceptical the economic benefits will trickle down to the masses.
"This is a big problem for our country... they believe that China has been taking advantage," said Thu Wai, leader of the Democratic Party, one of the 17 political parties at Friday's celebration.
People plan to display their disapproval of any reinstatement of a controversial Chinese-backed mega-dam by a protest in Yangon on Saturday afternoon.
In 2011, the $3.6 billion 6,000 megawatt Myitsone project was suspended in face of vociferous criticism across the country, which is believed to have been a personal offence to Xi, who signed the deal with Myanmar's then-military junta as vice president in 2009.
Despite distrust towards Chinese investment lingers among the public, Beijing has stood strongly by Myanmar even as the nation faces flak for the 2017 military crackdown on the Muslim minority, which forced some 740,000 people to flee the nation, that has been called genocide by UN investigators.
Beijing has stood strongly beside Myanmar and the Asian giant is now the country's largest investor even as distrust of its ambitions lingers among the public.
The Chinese leader's two-day state visit to Myanmar's purpose-built capital comes as Western investors cast a wide berth around the country due to the Rohingya crisis.
More than 30 agreements were signed Saturday on Xi's final day of his visit — with Suu Kyi and Xi seated across from each other on long tables alongside related ministers.
More than 30 agreements were signed Saturday on Xi's final day of his visit -- with Suu Kyi and Xi seated across from each other on long tables alongside related ministers and among them is a shareholders agreement on the $1.3 billion-dollar Kyaukhphyu deep-sea port and economic zone.
After arriving Friday Xi called the visit a "historical moment" for relations between the two neighbours, according to the state-run newspaper the Global New Light of Myanmar.
Myanmar leader Suu Kyi said the country will always be at China's side.
“It goes without saying that a neighbouring country has no other choice, but to stand together till the end of the world,” she said during a celebration late Friday.