YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar state media on Monday announced it would free hundreds of prisoners on “humanitarian” grounds, the latest in a string of inmate releases in the former junta-ruled nation. TV news reported that President Thein Sein “gives amnesty for a total of 514 prisoners” in a rare breaking news update, without making clear if any of those affected are political detainees. The report, which said the release included “foreign prisoners from the prisons around the country”, comes a day before the Myanmar leader is set to visit China. It said the pardons came into effect from Monday and are aimed at the “stability of the state and eternal peace, by respecting humanitarian grounds... and also to have friendship and goodwill in relations with neighbouring countries.”Myanmar has a large population of immigrant workers from China, who are employed in a wide variety of Chinese-funded projects in the impoverished nation.Thein Sein will visit China until September 22 and is then set to embark on a trip to the United States to attend a United Nations General Assembly on September 24.Myanmar has granted amnesty to hundreds of political prisoners as part of reforms that have caused a dramatic thaw in the country’s relations with the West.Estimates of the exact number of political detainees still in prison vary but democracy groups in July said there were still around 300 activists languishing in jails around the country.