Burma's head briefs Chinese ally on elections

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The Independent Online

The Burmese leader General Than Shwe has arrived in China for a state visit during which he is expected to introduce a new generation of military leaders to one of the country's most important backers.

It is only Than Shwe's third visit since he became head of the regime in 1992, and comes just over a month after he visited India, which has been vying with China for influence in the resource-rich and strategically-located country.

A Burmese Foreign Ministry source said he was accompanied by a number of new senior military officers and is expected to brief China on the election, planned for 7 November and criticised as a farce by human rights groups.