Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on May 14, 2018
Q: On May 12, clashes broke out between the Myanmar government forces and ethnic armed groups in the northern Shan State, close to the China-Myanmar border area. There were some causalities, and according to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, besides these causalities on the Myanmar side, the conflict also drove border residents and flew stray bullets into the Chinese side. China has lodged stern representations with the relevant parties in Myanmar. Can you give us more details and what is China’s position on this?
A: China is highly concerned about the military conflict in northern Myanmar on May 12. According to our information, the conflict has killed two Chinese nationals in Myanmar, and three rocket grenades and some stray bullets have fallen into the Chinese territory. In addition, over 300 Myanmar citizens living in the border area have fled to China to escape the conflict. Out of humanitarian spirit, the Chinese side has taken necessary measures and provided sheltering to these people.
Recently, there have been continued and escalating military frictions in northern Myanmar, including this latest one which has caused severe causalities and undermined stability in the China-Myanmar border area. It runs counter to the efforts made by relevant parties in Myanmar to hold the third meeting of the Panglong Peace Conference and seek national reconciliation and peace as well as the consensus to safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area.
Just like what you said in your question, China has lodged stern representations with relevant parties in Myanmar. We ask all conflicting parties to immediately cease fire and take every possible measure to avoid an escalation of the situation, return peace and tranquility at an early date to the China-Myanmar border area, and never allow such incident which threatens peace and stability in the China-Myanmar border area to happen again.
The principle of promoting the peace process through dialogue and consultation with comprehensive and inclusive policies needs to be observed by all parties in Myanmar. It also represents the only viable way for Myanmar to realize reconciliation and peace. We urge relevant parties in Myanmar to abide by this principle, seek to work towards the same direction through dialogues, properly handle differences, build mutual trust, and endeavor to move forward the peace process.