The President of Myanmar, Thein Sein, has announced the pardon of 6,966 prisoners. Among them are 210 foreigners and 155 Chinese loggers that were sentenced to life imprisonment. The Chinese foreign ministry says it has received notification and will start procedures to take over the prisoners. The actions are believed to help ease the tension between China and Myanmar.

On July 30, the Myanmar Information Ministry announced that Thein Sein is fulfilling the promise he made in 2010 before the presidential election in November this year.

Myanmar’s president says the pardon is based on humanitarian and national reconciliation reasons. But it is unclear whether or not the pardon also includes political prisoners.

AP reports, among those released are eight former senior military intelligence officers arrested by the Myanmar authorities in 2004.

Translated by Sarah Grasdijk
Edited by Olivia Yang