| 19 April 2024, Friday |

China urges Myanmar junta to hold talks with opponents

China’s foreign minister demanded upon his first visit to Myanmar since the coup that brought about its unrest in 2021, that the junta hold discussions with its opponents. One of the few foreign supporters the Myanmar military has is Beijing, which provides it with weapons while refusing to call the takeover that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration a coup.

China expects all parties in Myanmar to “adhere to rational consultation” and “strive to achieve political reconciliation,” according to Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
According to a statement on the website of the foreign ministry, Wang also expressed to his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin that “China genuinely wishes that Myanmar would be politically and socially stable.”

Wang is taking part in a meeting of foreign ministers that has officials from Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in attendance. This is Beijing’s most high-profile visit to Myanmar since the putsch.

Following last week’s statement that discussions between the military and deposed leader Suu Kyi to end the upheaval were “not impossible,” the junta spokesperson made his remarks.

Concern from Myanmar’s neighbours has led to a regional envoy’s visit to attempt and jumpstart negotiations between the army and its opponents as a result of the country’s increasing civil unrest.

Additionally, the isolated junta has become more dependent on friends like China and Russia as a result of sanctions placed by Western governments in the wake of the coup and a brutal crackdown on opposition.

A significant ethnic rebel group in Myanmar with strong ties to China demanded in May that the junta hold talks with the opposition to put a halt to the rising bloodshed, which has seen Chinese corporate interests targeted.

Beijing declared in April that it would support preserving Myanmar’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence “no matter how the situation develops.”

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