By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – As anti-coup protests continue, China has urged Myanmar’s military junta to stop further bloodshed and ease the situation in the country as soon as possible.
“No matter how the situation evolves, China will not waver in its commitment to advancing China-Myanmar relations and will not change the course of promoting friendship and cooperation,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference via video link in Beijing on Sunday.
Wang said the immediate priority is to end “further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible.”
He said China has maintained “friendly exchanges” with various political parties in Myanmar, including the National League for Democracy (NLD). “And developing friendship with China has also been a consensus across all sectors of Myanmar,” Wang asserted.
The statement came amid allegations that China supports the Feb. 1 military coup and backs the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar army’s official name, which detained NLD leadership and other civil society activists before announcing a year-long state of emergency.
Although the coup has passed a month, anti-military protests continue to take place with people seeking restoration of the civilian rule.
Spelling out “three views” of China on Myanmar, Wang said: “Peace and stability are the prerequisites for a country's development. I hope that the relevant parties in Myanmar will keep calm and exercise restraint, act in the fundamental interests of the people, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition.”
Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Wang noted.
“China supports ASEAN in upholding the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and consensus building, and mediating in the ‘ASEAN Way’ to seek common ground. On the basis of respect for Myanmar's sovereignty and the will of its people, China stands ready to engage and communicate with the relevant parties, and play a constructive role in easing the situation,” he added.
Calling Myanmar and China “pauk-phaw" (siblings from the same mother) brothers who are connected by the same mountains and rivers and are a community with a “shared future through thick and thin,” the Chinese foreign minister said: “China's friendship policy toward Myanmar is for all the people of Myanmar.”