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China rejects suggestion that it supported coup in Myanmar

China rejects suggestion that it supported coup in Myanmar

The Myanmar military seized power in a coup on Monday and appeared in firm control of the country AFP/STR

BEIJING: China's foreign ministry on Wednesday (Feb 3) rejected the suggestion that it supported or gave tacit consent to Monday's military coup in neighbouring Myanmar.

In response to a question at a daily briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: "Relevant theories are not true. As Myanmar's friendly neighbouring country, we wish that all sides in Myanmar can appropriately resolve their differences and uphold political and social stability,"

During a scheduled visit to the Myanmar capital last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with officials including the country's military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who this week seized power in the coup.

READ: Myanmar army chief says coup was 'inevitable'

READ: People in Myanmar honk horns, bang on pots to protest coup

Wang Wenbin's comments on Wednesday echoed his words in the immediate aftermath of the coup.

"China is a friendly neighbour of Myanmar and hopes the various parties in Myanmar will appropriately resolve their differences under the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability," he said at a press briefing on Monday.

Wang added that China - which shares a border with Myanmar - was still "furthering our understanding of the situation" at the time.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power before the new parliament's first sitting on Monday on the grounds of fraud in the election, ending a decade of civilian rule in the country.

READ: Thousands protest Myanmar coup in Tokyo, demand Japan take tougher action

Commentary: Myanmar’s coup - end of the power sharing arrangement between military and civilian forces?

Myanmar is a vital piece of China's Belt and Road Initiative - Chinese President Xi Jinping's US$1 trillion vision for maritime, rail and road projects across Asia, Africa and Europe - including a proposed US$8.9 billion high-speed rail link from southern Yunnan province to Myanmar's west coast.

Xi also visited Myanmar in January last year to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

On the visit, he promised that Beijing would "firmly support the Myanmar government and people in pursuing a development path suited to its own national conditions".

Xi also said China was ready to "work together with the Myanmar side in ... speeding up the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and Myanmar's development strategies".

Source: AGENCIES/kg

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