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Myanmar Junta Sanctions ‘Inappropriate’ Says China

By The Irrawaddy Tue, July 6, 2021

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw in January 2021. / The Irrawaddy

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has said that that the international community should refrain from imposing sanctions on the junta, citing such actions as “inappropriate intervention”. The Chinese State Counselor instead urged Myanmar to settle its political crisis through internal dialogue and reconciliation.

Wang Yi highlighted Myanmar as one of a number of global “hotspot issues” during his address to the opening ceremony of the 9th World Peace Forum held at Beijing’s Tsinghua University on Saturday.

“On Myanmar, the central task is to promote internal dialogue and realize political reconciliation,” said Wang Yi, in remarks published on the website of the Chinese embassy in Myanmar.

“The twists and turns in Myanmar’s democratic transition process are in essence the country’s domestic affairs. They should be settled by political means as soon as possible through dialogue and consultation within the framework of its constitution and laws,” added the foreign minister.

His comments come as Myanmar remains mired in political and economic turmoil over five months on from the Myanmar military seizing power in a Feb. 1 coup. Since then, the junta has faced nationwide opposition to military rule.

The US and European Union have imposed sanctions on the junta leaders and their spouses, while some western companies have exited the country in response to the regime’s human rights violations, which include the killing of nearly 900 people during crackdowns on anti-coup protesters.

But China continues to insist that Myanmar’s crisis is an internal affair. China – along with Russia – has blocked all attempts by the United Nations to take action against the military regime.

Despite the nationwide resistance against the junta, Wang Yi told his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin in Chongqing last month that Beijing was ready to work with Myanmar, as China’s policy toward its neighbor is, “not affected by changes to Myanmar’s domestic and external situation”.

“China has supported, is supporting and will support Myanmar in choosing a development path that suits its own circumstances,” the Chinese foreign minister said at the time.

China has also pushed its support through the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) proposals for Myanmar.

An ASEAN special summit on April 24 set out its engagement policy with the junta and China has supported that. However, Myanmar coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said he would carry out ASEAN’s suggestions “only when stability comes to Myanmar”, a way of ignoring ASEAN’s proposals.

Wang Yi said China “firmly supports ASEAN in working in the ASEAN way for a “soft landing” of the situation”.

He also added that, “The international community should truly respect Myanmar’s sovereignty and the choice of its people, do more to help narrow differences, and refrain from imposing unilateral sanctions and inappropriate intervention.”

On Saturday, in the latest round of sanctions against the regime, the US sanctioned 22 members of the regime and their spouses and children. Washington also blacklisted three Chinese companies for providing support to the Myanmar regime through revenue-sharing arrangements with the military-owned and already sanctioned Myanma Economic Holdings Limited.

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SOURCE – The Irrawaddy Myanmar Tue, July 6, 2021

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