China will encourage its enterprises to discuss co-operation on upgrading Myanmar's power grid in order to help ease power shortages in the country, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said here Thursday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a routine press conference.

Demonstrations against the country's power cuts have taken place in several towns in Myanmar this week, according to reports.

Protesters accused the Myanmar government of selling energy resources to China, which, they say, has led to frequent power outages in the country.

The Chinese government has always demanded that its companies conduct economic and trade cooperation with Myanmar in line with the principle of mutual benefit, so as to benefit the people of both countries, said Hong.

He said contracts signed between Chinese companies and Myanmar on power cooperation complied with local laws and regulations.

Power shortages in Myanmar are mainly due to the country's creaking power grid, he said, adding that China is willing to encourage its companies to discuss with Myanmar on cooperation in upgrading the country's power grid so to help ease the power shortages.

In late April, due to an insufficient electricity supply in the country, Myanmar's electric power authorities barred industrial zones, factories and workshops from using electricity for a fixed six-hour period during the night in order to create an alternative supply of power for public use when such use peaks between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time.

According to Myanmar's official media on Thursday, 52 heavy-duty generators have been ordered from foreign companies. The generators will arrive in Myanmar within one week to be put into use to calm the protest.