Monday, April 19, 2021

Willing to engage with all parties in Myanmar, says China’s foreign minister

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China is willing to engage with “all parties” in neighbouring Myanmar where the immediate priority is to prevent “further bloodshed” and ease the situation, Chinese state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.

Wang also urged “involved parties” to advance democratic transition.

Beijing has been cautious in its reaction to the situation in Myanmar where the military seized power in February and jailed elected politicians but has denied speculation about its tacit involvement in the overthrow of the civilian government.

“On the basis of respecting Myanmar’s sovereignty and the will of its people, China stands ready to engage and communicate with all relevant parties, and play a constructive role in easing the tensions in Myanmar,” Wang said on the sidelines of China’s annual gathering of its ceremonial parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), in Beijing.

Wang said that Beijing hopes all parties in Myanmar will keep calm and exercise restraint, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition.

“The immediate priority is to prevent further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible,” Wang added.

Wang said China supports the Asean to uphold the principles of “non-interference in internal affairs and making decisions through consensus, mediate in the Asean way and seek common ground”.

China, according to a Reuters report, had agreed with a United Nations Security Council statement that called for the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees and voiced concern over the state of emergency.

“China has long-term friendly exchanges with all parties and factions in Myanmar, including the National League for Democracy (NLD), and friendship with China has always been the consensus of all sectors in Myanmar,” Wang said.

The NLD is Suu Kyi’s party. Its landslide November victory in national elections has been ignored by the junta, Reuters report said.

Wang, incidentally, had met both Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s commander-in-chief of defence services Min Aung Hlaing in Nay Pyi Taw during a visit in the second week of January.

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