China to host Monday ASEAN meeting with Myanmar as focus

Beijing, Jun 6 (EFE).- China will host a “special meeting” of foreign ministers next week to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the dialogue between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a Sunday statement.

The Monday and Tuesday meetings will focus on the situation in Myanmar, where protests against the military junta continue four months after the military coup.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will co-chair the meeting, to be held in the southwestern city of Chongqing, “with the participation of representatives of the ASEAN countries,” made up of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

“Wang Yi will co-chair the meeting with representatives of these countries,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai met Myanmar coupmaker Gen. Min Aung Hlaing Saturday to prepare for the meeting, state newspaper Global Times reported Sunday.

At that meeting, Min Aung Hlaing allegedly said “Myanmar is willing to work with ASEAN and communicate with China to maintain internal stability and coordinate the implementation of a consensus.”

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

The Myanmar Army justified the military coup on alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which the party of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015, and which were considered legitimate by international observers.

On the other hand, the meeting would also address the recent tensions between China and Malaysia after the Malaysian Army mobilized planes on Jun. 1 to intercept 16 Chinese military aircraft that entered its airspace. Kuala Lumpur classified the move as a “serious threat against national sovereignty and flight safety.”

Malaysia filed a protest with the UN last year against Beijing’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, waters that China disputes, as well as Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. EFE


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