China mentions ‘reasonable demands’ of Myanmar social movement, strives to promote dialogue: Ambassador

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Police vehicles barricade a road outside Sule Pagoda, next to Yangon City Hall in Yangon, Myanmar on February 16. Photo: AFP

China mentioned the “reasonable demands” of Myanmar’s social movement and strove to promote dialogue while urging all parties to stay calm and restrained, avoiding violence, the Chinese ambassador said in an interview on Tuesday. He denied recent rumors about China being involved in certain affairs such as transporting technicians to Myanmar and helping the country build an internet firewall.

“The current development in Myanmar is absolutely not what China wants to see. We hope that all parties of Myanmar could handle differences properly under the framework of the constitution and laws and maintain political and social stability,” Ambassador Chen Hai told local media.

China supports mediation efforts by ASEAN and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar. China is also playing a constructive role, by promoting peace and dialogue at its core, he said.

In response to the recent gatherings outside the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar during the “Civil Disobedience Movement,” Chen said that “Some people petitioned in front of embassies and international organizations in Myanmar. We understand their aspirations. And we also mentioned their reasonable demands when we strove to promote dialogue among different parties in Myanmar.”

“We hope all parties could stay calm and restrained, refraining from doing things that may intensify conflicts and escalate tensions. Under the current situation, violence should be avoided, and the basic rights of people need to be protected,” he said.

Chen has denied recent rumors including the so-called Chinese aircraft transporting technicians to Myanmar, helping the country build an internet firewall, and Chinese soldiers appearing on the streets of Myanmar.

“For the record, these are completely nonsense and even ridiculous accusations,” Chen said. “We sincerely hope that the Myanmar people can distinguish right from wrong and guard against political manipulation, so as to avoid undermining the friendship between the two peoples.”

According to Chen, the aircraft were normal cargo flights between China and Myanmar, whose frequency has dropped from 15 to 18 flights per day before the pandemic to about 5 flights per day now. “They carry seafood and other exports from Myanmar to China.”

Someone was hyping up that the flights carried “weapons”. Afterwards, there were even fake pictures showing that the flights contained dipping sauce, Chen noted.

“China and Myanmar are neighbors that cannot move away from each other. Friendly neighbors wish each other well. We hope that all things go well in Myanmar, rather than becoming unstable or even falling into chaos,” Chen said.

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