China’s officials tell Myanmar ‘not to misunderstand China’


 A Myanmar woman drives rides a tricycle as she crosses into China at the China-Myanmar, Kyegaung border gate, in Ruili, Yunnan province, China, September 17, 2012. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Chinese officials recently told a visiting Myanmar delegation not to misunderstand China as a result of the fighting between Myanmar government forces and the Kokang armed group in the Laukkai area, according to the former Myanmar Ambassador to China, U Sein Win Aung, who attended the Sino-Myanmar bilateral meeting held in China.

In the first week of March, a Myanmar special delegation and Chinese Foreign Ministry officials held a meeting in China to discuss the events in the conflict-ridden Laukkai area.

“China told us that the Chinese government has never helped the armed group, and they told us not to misunderstand China,” U Sein Win Aung told Mizzima.

The comments come after speculation has been rife that the Chinese government or local authorities may have been helping the Kokang fighters.

As a result of the fighting that began on February 9 in the Laukkai area in northern Shan State, the Myanmar special delegation, which includes two former Myanmar ambassadors to China, went to China and met with Chinese officials with the aim to ease tensions.

They discussed negotiating a ceasefire in Laukkai, cooperation in civilian rescue operations, and processes to improve bilateral relationship between the two countries.

U Sein Win Aung said, “They urged us to take back refugees to Myanmar as soon as possible.”

On the question of Sino-Myanmar relations, he said that the bilateral relationship will continue to be normal.

Currently, more than 30,000 Myanmar refugees are taking refuge in China because of fighting in Laukkai.

On February 9, fighting began between Myanmar government forces and the Kokang armed group led by Phone Kyar Shin. Fighting has continued up until March 8, according to a recent nnouncement made by the Myanmar military.

A total of more than 100 Myanmar military personnel have been killed in the recent fighting in the Kokang area.

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