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China stresses ‘non-interference’ in Myanmar


Beijing says it is not interfering in the conflict in Myanmar's northern Shan State. The Chinese border gate of Nansan, Yunnan, China on August 30, 2009. Photo: David and Jessie/Flickr

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei says that China forbids any organization and individual carrying out activities that undermine Sino-Myanmar relations or the stability of the border area on Chinese territory.

Mr Hong’s message was released as a statement on February 25 by the Chinese Embassy in Yangon.

Referring to fighting in Laukkai, he said that since the outbreak of armed conflict in northern Myanmar, China has been acting in accordance with its non-interference policy and to cope with the situation, which led to refugees fleeing over the border into its territory.

Despite the assurance, there have been allegations that China has played a role in the conflict, at the least in failing to prevent outside players from entering the conflict zone.

Myanmar’s Chief of Military Affairs Security Lieutenant General Mya Tun Oo told a press conference held at the Office of the Commander-in-Chief in Nay Pyi Taw on February 21 that some Chinese mercenaries took part in the fighting that took place in Laukkai.

Legal action will be taken against them in accordance with Myanmar’s laws because the incident occurred on Myanmar’s territory, he said. 

Eight Chinese citizens from the Kokang insurgent group were arrested. According to their confessions and investigations, Chinese mercenaries took part in the fighting, he said. 

In the statement, Mr Hong urged the parties concerned to exercise restraint and cool down the situation and prevent it from undermining the security order of the border area.

He said that China hoped Myanmar will take all necessary steps to safeguard the security of Chinese organizations and personnel in Myanmar.

He has said that China has given and will continue to give necessary assistance and proper refuge to the Myanmar citizens who fled to China due to the fighting.

Mr Hong said that China’s departments concerned have stepped up control of the border area but have not closed the border.

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