China and Myanmar signed deals worth $7.8 billion for energy, agriculture, telecommunications, infrastructure and finance during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the Southeast Asian country. The deals made include an agreement to build natural gas power plants, as well as $300 million in small scale loans for agriculture and setting up of an electricity cooperation committee, with the aim of keeping energy projects on track. China and Myanmar have traditionally had close ties, with Myanmar relying on its powerful northern neighbor for economic and diplomatic support when it was under wide-reaching Western sanctions.

China has been stung by criticism that it is only interested in Myanmar for its natural resources and that its investment has come at a huge cost.