Chinese premier Wen Jiabao will visit Myanmar next week to attend a summit of Mekong River countries, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. China has long been Myanmar’s closest partner and supported the country during decades of Western sanctions. Wen’s visit would follow closely on that of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month, which resulted in the new Myanmar government committing to political reforms. US envoy Derek Mitchell denied that the US and China are competing for influence in the country formerly called Burma, saying, “There is no intent of the United States in its relationship with Burma to have any certainly negative influence on Burma-China relations.” Bilateral China-Myanmar trade rose more than 50% in 2010 to US$4.4 billion, while Chinese investment in Myanmar was US$12.3 billion. Most cooperation has been on energy and natural resources, including a crude oil port and pipeline project.