China says it agrees with Asean to promote ‘political dialog’ in Myanmar

Beijing, June 7 (EFE).- China and the Asean members have agreed to promote political dialog in Myanmar, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday, amid a popular uprising against military rulers following the Feb.1 coup.

The Southeast Asian country has been battling months of violence after the military coup, with hundreds dead, mostly in firing by security forces, on street protesters.

Beleaguered by daily demonstrations by anti-coup protesters for the restoration of democracy in the country, the military junta has been desperately looking for international legitimacy to strengthen its position and hold over Myanmar.

China and Asean countries on Monday began a “special meeting” of foreign ministers to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the dialog between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with a focus on military-ruled Myanmar.

Wang held separate meetings with other foreign ministers from the bloc, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“China is willing to continue cooperating with Asean to jointly promote the interests of the Myanmar people, maintain calm and restraint and eliminate all sorts of violence,” Wang said in his meeting with Brunei Foreign Minister Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Wang,

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said Wang noted that the intention was to handle differences through dialog and consultation under the constitutional and legal framework.

He said the nations needed to jointly assist Myanmar in the fight against the pandemic and “support Myanmar to recover its economy, improve the livelihoods of its citizens and guarantee their rights and interests.”

“All countries that abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must avoid unilateral sanctions and improper interventions” in Myanmar, Wang added.

Chinese ambassador in Myanmar Chen Hai on Saturday met with military ruler General Min Aung Hlaing.

During the meeting, Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar was willing to work with Asean and communicate with China to maintain internal stability and coordinate the implementation of a consensus, the official Global Times reported.

Beijing has denied having supported or approved the coup and said it hoped all parties would resolve their differences and promote stability in the country.

The Myanmar Army has justified the military coup on alleged electoral fraud in the November elections. Deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in the polls, as it did in 2015.

However, international observers said the polls were legitimate.

Wang also met with Foreign Ministers Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore and Retno Marsudi of Indonesia to discuss the fight against Covid-19 and global economic recovery.

Marsudi said on Twitter that she had a “good meeting with Wang.”

“We discussed various sectors of cooperation, from vaccine and health to green economy and development cooperation. We also spoke on regional peace and stability, including South China Sea and Myanmar.”

China and Asean also agreed to work together to strive for an early agreement on the code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea.

“(They) agreed to resume as soon as possible the second reading of the single draft code of conduct negotiating text and strive for the early conclusion of negotiations,” the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The parties noted that the current situation in the South China Sea was generally stable.

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