Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : GT reporters Qiu Yongzheng, Tan Furong, Su jing, GT foreign correspondent Sun Wei, Ji Shuangcheng, Tao Duanfang Page No. : 16
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Myanmar projects “enemy conspiracy”                                  International community awaits Chinese response

 

GT reporters Qiu Yongzheng, Tan Furong, Su jing, GT foreign correspondent Sun Wei, Ji Shuangcheng, Tao Duanfang

Responding to a question on the border situation at a press conference, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said loud and clear, “We have the responsibility and the ability to firmly safeguard safety and stability on China-Myanmar border and protect lives and property of our people”. The news of Myanmar military aircraft killing and wounding many residents in our territory on March 13 has drawn sharp reaction in the country. Chinese defence ministry, foreign ministry as well as its embassy in Myanmar has each taken up the issue seriously with Myanmar authorities on several occasions. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of Central Military Committee (CMC), held talks with the Myanmar authorities and demanded stern action against those responsible for the act. He told them to strictly control their armed forces and to ensure that such an incident does not recur ever again. Several Chinese military experts and foreign affairs experts told in interviews given to “Global Times”, the bombing was intentional or accidental can be determined only after the results of the formal investigation come out but China should be more active in its “initiative” and should promote peace and participate actively in the peace process in northern Myanmar. China Myanmar border cannot be messed up; stability in Myanmar’s northern region is necessary as it serves the common interests of the two nations and their people.

“A stirring warning”

On March 15 at noon, Chinese premier held a press conference for more than two hours. When the host declared the end of the press conference, a few journalists called out to the Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who had already got up from his seat, asking him about the China-Myanmar border issue, hoping to get a response (from him). Prime Minister Li Keqiang “made an exception” and sat down to reply: “you have touched upon a very painful matter. On our side of the China-Myanmar border, a few of our countrymen have lost their lives and property. I would first of all like to express my condolences and deep sympathies to victims’ families. Meanwhile our government, foreign ministry and military have taken up the matter seriously with the Myanmar side. We have the responsibility and the ability to firmly maintain safety and stability on China-Myanmar border and protect lives and property of our people”.

“New York Times” reported, at a press conference after the conclusion of the NPC (National people’s Congress) session, Prime Minister Li Keqiang issued “the most stirring warning” (to Myanmar). According to Singapore’s “United Morning post (Lianhe zao bao)” on March 15, Fan Changlong, vice chairman of Chinese Military Committee (CMC) held talks with Minang Lai, Myanmar armed forces commander-in-chief, in the afternoon of March 14 regarding the civilian casualties in Myanmar airstrike on March13 in Yunnan. He warned the Myanmar army top officials to strictly control their armed forces and not to repeat a similar incident or “resolute measures” will be taken (against them).Fan Changlong pointed out that Myanmar should understand the gravity of the issue and treat it seriously and should punish the people responsible for the incident. They should apologise to the victims’ families and compensate and send an explanation to the Chinese side. Minang Lai said, Myanmar can understand the feelings on the Chinese side. We will send people at the earliest possible to carry out a thorough investigation along with the Chinese counterparts. We will examine all the people involved in the incident and resolve the issue appropriately.

The officials at Chinese embassy in Bhutan told “Global Times” on March 15, Myanmar government publicity department issued a formal statement the same evening in both Bhutanese and English on the official website. The statement said Myanmar expresses deep sorrow at the civilian casualties in China and also said that the Foreign affairs and Defence ministry of the two sides will work jointly to investigate the matter.

Joint investigation by the impartial authorities at the earliest possible

Ruan Zongze, the head of the China Institute of International Studies told ‘Global Times” on March 15, lot of things are still not clear in this whole story, at the moment we can’t conclude for sure if the bombing was accidental, we need to maintain a calm and objective attitude. But irrespective of the conclusion, the civilian Chinese casualties are absolutely unacceptable to us; our position, evidently, is that the culprits should be brought to justice. He said first of all we need to supervise and finish the joint investigation at the earliest possible. Once the investigation concludes, then we will do the needful.

On March15, Myanmar’s official English newspaper “New light of Myanmar” said Myanmar’s Vice President Sai Mauk Kham met Chinese ambassador the previous day but did not give out the details of the meeting. The deputy director of the Myanmar President Office, Zuo Tai, told in an interview to “Reuters”, “all the air raid targets of the Burmese army are within the national territory”, moreover there is continuous exchange of information between Burmese and Chinese Armies and as for the Myanmar airstrikes, Myanmar army “strictly follows the agreement of informing the Chinese side in advance”. Zuo Tai added, “(this mishap) is possibly an intentional attack by the enemy, an attempt to create misunderstanding between the two sides.” However another private Myanmar newspaper “The Voice Daily” quoted a senior Myanmar Army official saying, “Chinese civilians were accidentally killed in the explosion when National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA, Kokang) was “digging a tunnel” at the China Myanmar border. Government warplanes intended to attack the armed men of NDAA (Kokang) but unexpectedly the armed men fled inside the tunnel, resulting in the mistaken bombing.

Responding to Myanmar official’s argument NDAA (Kokang) spokesperson Mr. Song told “Global Times” in a telephone interview on March 15, “First of all, NDAA (Kokang) does not have any heavy weapons, how will we have big bombs which can be thrown to such great distances. If we really had heavy weaponry, our army would not be on the defensive all the time. Secondly, NDAA’s primary enemy is Myanmar Military; it is fighting a war with Myanmar government troops, whereas government troops have launched heavy artillery and air force attack on the Chinese side of the border.” Mr. Song continued Myanmar government is at present faced with frequent student protests and immense pressure from opposition groups and a sloppy economy. Military offensive has been deliberately stepped up in the Kokang region of northern Burma to ease the pressure on the government.

China’s neighbourhood diplomacy should be more active

The incident of Myanmar warplanes killing and wounding Chinese civilians has drawn the attention of the international community. Britain’s “Daily Telegraph” said on March 15, this is clearly a case of mistaken target; Myanmar warplane was possibly trying to attack the armed targets of NDAA in the Kokang region. After the incident China deployed its fighter aircrafts to patrol the skies above the China Myanmar border. China has already sent several batches of fighter planes, to “track, monitor, warn and chase away” any planes coming from Myanmar.

According to America’s “Los Angeles Times”, after five years of peace, Myanmar government troops and local armed forces are engaged in fierce battle in the China Myanmar border area as the local people are fighting for more democracy from the central government. Report said this conflict has put China in a very awkward situation. Kokang and Yunan have deep commercial and personal connection. But China has for long upheld its non-interference policy. Generally speaking China’s reaction is relatively restrained. Kokang local rebel leaders have appealed to all “same root, same family” people to provide support, but Chinese media has not paid much attention to the Kokang situation. According to a March 15 report on the website of Britain’s “Economist”, this conflict at the China Myanmar border has occurred at a time when all sorts of problems are spreading in Myanmar. The long-term risk of the Kokang problem is that it could affect the autumn general elections.

The researcher at the Institute of Asia Pacific studies (IAPS) of The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Xu Liping told “Global Times”, in fact, China’s position is very clear, northern Myanmar issue is Myanmar’s internal matter, hope they will find a peaceful solution. But at the same time, China-Myanmar border cannot be messed up, northern Burma should be stable, it is in the common interest of the two countries and their people. He said it is required that China promotes and participates more actively in the northern Burma peace process to maintain stability at the China Myanmar border. China has taken the lead in initiating discussions between the representatives of the Kachin Independent Army and Myanmar government troops. We will now on promote this aspect and step up our efforts in this direction. In ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), non-interference policy is generally the cornerstone of the foreign policies of all the nations. However in certain conflict prone zones of Southeast Asia, the success stories of the third party intervention in the internal peace process of a country and signing of the peace treaties are not uncommon. This incident is also a test for the role to be played by a big country like China.

 

 

缅方抛出“敌人阴谋” 国际关注中国应对

北京警告缅军绝不能再犯

  • 本报记者 邱永峥 谭福榕 苏静 ●本报驻外记者 孙微 纪双城 陶短房

“我们有责任也有能力坚决维护中缅边境的安全稳定,坚决保护我国人民的生命和财产安全”。中国总理李克强15日在记者会上回应中缅边境局势问题时做出这样掷地有声的回答。缅甸军机13日炸死炸伤我国境内多名居民,在中国国内引起强烈反响。中国国防部、外交部以及驻缅甸使馆分别多次对缅方提出严正交涉。中央军委副主席范长龙与缅方通话时明确要求缅方严惩肇事者,并严格管控约束部队,绝不能再次发生此类事件。多名中国军事和外交专家接受《环球时报》记者采访时表示,此事是故意还是误炸,性质要等到正式调查结果出来后才能作出,但中国应更主动“出击”,积极推动和参与调停缅北和平进程。中缅边境不能乱,缅北地区要稳定,这符合中缅两国和两国人民的共同利益。

“最引人注目的警告”

15日中午,中国总理记者招待会已进行两个多小时。当主持人宣布记者会结束,数名记者大声向已起身的李克强总理喊问关于中缅边境问题,希望总理回答。李克强总理“破例”坐了下来,他说:“你问了一件让我感到痛心的事情。在中缅边界我方一侧,一些我国居民的生命和财产受到了损失,我首先要向遇难者家属表示哀悼和深切的慰问。同时,我国政府、外交部、军方都向缅方提出了严正交涉。我们有责任也有能力坚决维护中缅边境的安全稳定,坚决保护我国人民的生命和财产安全”。

《纽约时报》称,李克强总理在人大闭幕后的新闻发布会上发出“最引人注目的警告”。新加坡《联合早报》15日称,针对缅甸军机炸弹13日造成云南平民死伤,中央军委副主席范长龙14日下午与缅甸国防军总司令敏昂莱通话时也警告缅军高层严管部队,绝不能再犯,否则将采取“坚决果断措施”。范长龙指出,缅方要认识到问题的严重性,严肃认真对待此事,严惩肇事者,向死伤者家属道歉并赔偿,向中方作出交代。敏昂莱表示,缅方理解中方感受,将尽快派人与中方一起进行认真调查,妥善解决问题,追究相关人员责任。

中国驻缅使馆官员15日对《环球时报》称,缅甸政府宣传部门当天晚上在官方网站上以缅文和英文两种语言发布正式声明。声明称缅方对中国居民的死伤深表哀痛,同时表示两国外交部门和国防部门将对事件联合进行调查。

应尽快做公正权威的联合调查

中国国际问题研究院院长阮宗泽15日对《环球时报》说,对整个事情的来龙去脉,现在很多信息还不明晰,我们还不能斩钉截铁马上下结论,究竟是不是误炸,要保持客观冷静的态度。但是不管是什么结果,我们对中国平民被炸伤亡是绝对不能接受的,肇事者必须被绳之以法,这是我们应有的态度。他说,现在首先要督促各方尽快落实联合调查,得出公正权威及时的调查结论,然后该怎么办就怎么办。

15日,缅甸官方英文报纸《缅甸新光》称,缅副总统赛茂康前一天会见了中国驻缅大使,但未提会见内容。而缅甸总统办公厅副主任佐泰14日在接受路透社采访时称,“缅军所有的空袭目标都是在本国境内”,而且缅军与中国军方始终消息畅通,对缅军的空袭计划,缅军“严格执行了事先告知中方的协定”。佐泰还称,“(这起事故)可能是敌人故意制造袭击,企图制造我方与中方之间的误会。”缅甸另一家主要私营媒体《声音日报》则引述缅甸军方一名高层官员的话称,炸死中国平民系误伤,因为果敢同盟军在中缅边境“挖了地道”,政府军飞机原本是想轰炸同盟军武装人员,却不曾想武装人员躲进了地道,误炸就随之发生了。

对缅甸官员的说法,果敢同盟军发言人宋先生15日接受《环球时报》记者电话采访时说,“首先,果敢同盟军没有任何重武器,更不具备将大型炸弹投掷到如此之远距离的能力。如果我们真有重武器,那么我们部队在果敢就不会只处于守势。其次,果敢同盟军的作战对象是缅甸政府军,是面向着缅军作战,而政府军却是对着中国边界一侧发动重炮和空中力量攻击。”宋先生称,缅甸政府特别是军方目前在国内面临着学潮频起、经济不振和反对派的多重压力,为了缓解压力,故意对缅北果敢地区加强军事进攻,从而缓解政治压力。

中国周边外交应“主动出击”

这次缅甸军机炸弹炸死中国平民事件引起国际社会的关注。英国《每日电讯报》15日称,这显然是一场投错了目标的空袭,缅甸战机很可能在果敢地区试图袭击果敢地方武装目标。在这次事件后,中国战斗机升空,在中缅边境上空巡逻。中国已经派出了几批次的战斗机进行巡逻,“跟踪、监视、警告和驱逐”来自缅甸的任何飞机。

美国《洛杉矶时报》称,经过5年的平静后,缅甸政府军与地方武装在中缅边境地区的激战,是因为当地民众为从中央政府争取更多自治而进行的。报道称,这场战争将中国置于越来越尴尬的境地。果敢与中国云南有着深厚的商业和人员联系。但中国多年来一直坚持不干涉他国内部事务的政策。从总体上来说,北京反应相对克制。果敢地方武装头目此前呼吁所有‘同根同族’的人提供支持,但中国媒体只对果敢局势进行了有限的关注。英国《经济学家》网站15日称,这次中缅边境地区冲突发生的时间正值缅甸各种问题蔓延之时,而果敢问题带来的长期风险可能对秋季的大选带来影响。

中国社科院亚太与全球战略研究院研究员许利平对《环球时报》称,事实上,中国的立场很明确,一方面缅北问题是缅甸的内政,希望得到和平解决。但同时,中缅边境不能乱,缅北地区要稳定,这符合中缅两国和两国人民的共同利益。他说,为维护中缅边境稳定,中国需要更积极推动和参与缅北和平进程。中方曾牵头让克钦独立军和缅甸政府军代表坐下来谈。我们今后促和这方面的力度还应再加大。在东盟,不干涉内政普遍是各国外交政策的基石,然而在冲突频发的东南亚一些地区,作为第三方参与调停他国内部和平进程并签署和平协议的成功案例并不鲜见。这次事件也是对中国大国作用的一次考验。

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