Myanmar assures China of 'continuing democratic transition process'

Myanmar assures China of 'continuing democratic transition process'

Foreign Minister Lwin makes pledge during meeting with his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

Myanmar has committed to "continuing the democratic transition process" in accordance with the roadmap defined by the ruling junta and to fulfilling its obligations to ASEAN on the five-point consensus, China said late Sunday.

The commitment was made by Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin during a meeting with his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 7th Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bagan, Myanmar, on Sunday, said a statement released by China's Foreign Ministry.

Lwin stated that Myanmar will "continue to push forward the process of democratic transition" by executing the "five-point roadmap" of the junta-led State Administrative Council (SAC) and the ASEAN's "five-point consensus."

"China sincerely hopes that Myanmar will enjoy political and social stability," Wang told Lwin.

 

ASEAN chair Cambodia envoy visits Myanmar

The Buddhist-majority country saw its latest military coup in February last year, which was met with widespread civil unrest. In its attempts to quell dissent, the military has used lethal force, killing over 2,000 people.

The UN estimates that more than 700,000 people were internally displaced in the country as of June 1, including more than 250,000 children.

The Burmese military, known locally as the Tatmadaw, deposed Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy government, prompting international condemnation.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, proposed a five-point consensus to bring the country back to normalcy, but the junta has not responded positively.

Beijing's statement comes after the special envoy of the current ASEAN chair paid his second trip to Myanmar last week.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, however, was again barred from meeting incarcerated Suu Kyi.

Sokhonn met with representatives from seven ethnic armed groups, as well as top SAC officials.

"It was constructive to hear from various actors about the situation on the ground – both progress and constraints regarding the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus," Sokhonn said in a statement on Saturday.

He also handed over 2 million vaccine doses donated by China on behalf of the ASEAN to bring humanitarian aid to Myanmar.

In Bagan, Wang also met Sokhonn.

"China expects to make joint efforts with ASEAN to encourage Myanmar to restart the democratic transition process, realize the vision of returning power to the people, and explore a path of political development with Myanmar's characteristics and in line with Myanmar's national conditions," Wang told Sokhonn.

 

Beijing, Naypyidaw to boost ties

The Chinese statement said Beijing and Naypyidaw agreed to "speed up" construction of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, "well implement" the cross-border power grid agreement, and ensure the smooth operation of China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines.

It added the two sides will discuss the "China-Myanmar Economic Corridor Plus" cooperation at an appropriate time to elevate bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

"China is ready to import more high-quality agricultural products from Myanmar, expand bilateral financial cooperation, well implement demonstration projects to aid Myanmar in poverty reduction, and increase direct flights to facilitate the resumption of classes in China for Myanmar's students on the premise of ensuring COVID-related safety," Wang told his counterpart.

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