Chinese FM calls Myanmar’s junta to hold talks with opponents


China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has called upon Myanmar’s junta to hold talks with opponents and “realise political reconciliation” amid deepening crisis in the southeast Asian country. Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang is in Myanmar for his first visit since the junta carried out a coup and overthrew the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.

The country has been plunged in crisis since then with western countries and rights groups strongly opposing the country’s military government and criticising the human rights situation in Myanmar.

China, however, has refused to call it a coup and remains among few countries with close ties with Myanmar. Ties have become closer following western sanctions.

Wang’s tour is one of the most high-profile tours by a Chinese official to the country since President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar January, 2018, days before Beijing locked down the central Chinese city of Wuhan where the coronavirus first emerged in late, 2019. “China sincerely hopes that Myanmar will enjoy political and social stability, that its people will live a happy and fulfilling life, and that the country will realise development and rejuvenation,” Wang told his counterpart from Myanmar, Wunna Maung Lwin

“China expects all parties in Myanmar to prioritise the big picture and the interests of the people, adhere to rational consultation, and realise political reconciliation and lasting peace and stability at an early date within the framework of the constitution and laws,” Wang said, according to a readout released by the Chinese foreign ministry.

“China pays close attention to the situation in Myanmar and stands ready to continue to play a constructive role in its own way,” Wang said, adding: “We will jointly support Myanmar’s efforts to restore its economy, improve people’s livelihood and ensure the rights and interests of people at the grass-roots level.” The Chinese foreign ministry quoted Wunna Maung Lwin as saying that Myanmar highly cherishes the everlasting Myanmar-China friendship, marked by “mutual respect and treating each other as equals” and “sincerely thanks China for its selfless help to Myanmar’s national development”.

In May, according to AFP, a powerful Myanmar ethnic rebel group with “close ties to China” called for the junta to engage in dialogue with the opposition to end the escalating violence, which has seen Chinese business interests attacked.

“Beijing said in April it would help safeguard Myanmar’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity “no matter how the situation changes,” the AFP reported.

The same month, a Myanmar court found former leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of corruption in a secret trial.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)