Following a spike in combat between junta forces and insurgents in Myanmar that shook the area, a Chinese official stated on Monday that Myanmar and China should work together to preserve calm on their shared border.
Last week, Myanmar’s ruling military said it was trying to restore order near the border after an alliance of ethnic minority armies battling for self-determination launched a series of coordinated attacks on junta targets.
“Myanmar is called on to cooperate with China to maintain stability along the China-Myanmar border, earnestly ensure the safety of the lives and property of Chinese border residents, and take effective measures to strengthen the security of Chinese personnel,” said Nong Rong, assistant Chinese foreign minister.
A spokesperson for Myanmar’s ruling military was not immediately available for comment.
The Asia Times news site reported that one Chinese citizen was killed and several were wounded on Saturday when a shell fired by the Myanmar military over-shot its target and struck on the Chinese side of the border.
Nong, who visited Myanmar on Nov. 3-5, said China hoped Myanmar would restore stability, and it supported all parties to properly handle differences and achieve reconciliation through dialogue as soon as possible.
Thailand is trying to bring home 162 of its nationals trapped by the fighting in Myanmar.
Myanmar has been in chaos since a military coup in February 2021 unseated a democratically elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Pro-democracy insurgent groups have in some areas teamed up with ethnic minority guerrillas who have been campaigning for decades for greater autonomy to battle junta forces.
While Western governments have condemned the Myanmar military and imposed sanctions on it, China, along with Russia, have been supportive of the generals. China says it supports Myanmar in finding its own path and has urged the international community to respect its sovereignty.
China’s foreign ministry said last week it was
closely following the conflict in Myanmar.
“We urge parties to immediately stop the fighting, settle differences peacefully through dialogue and consultation, and avoid escalation,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing.
Nong, during his visit, urged Myanmar to strengthen the security of Chinese institutions and projects there.
He also visited a 793-km natural gas pipeline, part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure and energy network, linking Ramree Island on the Myanmar west coast with the Chinese border city Ruili in Yunnan Province.