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China Recognizes Burmese Party (FEE

                  China Recognizes Burmese Party

                  Far Eastern Economic Review, 16 November 2000

	        Burma's generals don't get to travel much in an
                  unfriendly world. But they're welcome in China and
                  what's more they are being recognized there as leaders
                  of a mass organization they created to rival the
                  opposition National League for Democracy. When
                  Lt.-Gen. Win Myint flew into Beijing on October 25,
                  he was greeted not by his title as a senior member of
                  the military's State Peace and Development Council but
                  as vice-president of the Union Solidarity and
                  Development Association. China is the only country to
                  have recognized and forged party-to-party ties with the
                  USDA, a military-backed mass organization modelled
                  after Golkar, Indonesia's former ruling party under
                  Suharto. Rangoon's junta has been trying to raise its
                  profile as the true representative of the Burmese people
                  and membership of the USDA is virtually compulsory
                  for civil servants and anyone seeking the favour of the
                  generals. A grateful Win Myint, in a meeting with
                  politburo member Li Ruihuan, said Burma "as always,
                  will stick to its policy of developing friendship with China."