China Denies Supplying Arms To Burmese Armed Groups

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SOE THU AUNG |

IN a meeting with Myanmar Defence Services Commander in Chief, Chinese President Xi Jinping denied his country was supplying arms to ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in Myanmar.

Visiting Chinese President Xi met Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the Reception Hall of Horizon Lake View Resort in Naypyitaw last Saturday.

 

■ Senior General Min Aung Hlaing holds talk with President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping in Horizon Lake View Resort in Naypyitaw | Office of the C–in–C of Defence Services

 

In a press release issued by the Defence Services or Tatmadaw, Chinese President Xi is quoted as saying, “We categorically deny allegations of supplying arms to ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar but they can acquire these arms by other means, so that we will look into this issue thoroughly to resolve it.”

 

We categorically deny allegations of supplying arms to ethnic armed organisations in Myanmar but they can acquire these arms by other means, so that we will look into this issue thoroughly to resolve it

 

Tatmadaw True News Information Team Secretary Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun said, “President Xi said that they did not accept intervention in other nations’ affairs and it was important to preserve long time Paukpaw (fraternal) relation and to promote the cooperation in border areas along their over 2000 Km long border.”

President Xi reportedly added that China never accepted use of Chinese territory by any organisation to cause infringement in Myanmar.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said, “The control of government is very much important for stability and the maintaining law and order in the country so that we are trying to keep stability and maintaining law and order in our country by various means but it will be difficult for the people to keep their trust in us unless we can restore peace and see progress in the development of the country despite many attempts.”

President Xi reportedly gave his assurance in his discussions with Myanmar leaders that his country would support and stand behind the Myanmar government in the international arena including the case filed against Myanmar at the ICJ by the government of Gambia.

Government troops reportedly founds a large arms cache stored and hidden by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) operating along the Sino–Myanmar border in late 2019. Many of the weapons were made in China.

There has been criticism that China has been supplying arms to the ethnic rebel Northern Alliance.

However, the Tatmadaw said that they did not have concrete evidence that arms were being supplied by China.

 

Tatmadaw troops reportedly founds a large arms cache stored and hidden by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) operating along the Sino–Myanmar border in late 2019. Many of the weapons were made in China

 

TNLA Information Department In–charge Maj. Ta Aik Kyaw said, “We don’t have any relations with China except mediation work in the peace negotiations with the government.”

Political analyst Than Soe Naing said, “I don’t have any knowledge on supplying of arms by China but these organisations could get these weapons from some parts of the Chinese army in Yunnan province which is contiguous with Myanmar though there is no official policy of selling arms to these organisations. I heard that these organisations of the northern alliance bought these weapons from Wa State rather than directly from China but I am not sure about the credibility of these news reports.”

During President Xi’s visit to Myanmar there was a cessation of clashes and engagements between the Tatmadaw and northern alliance organisations except only one engagement with Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine State.

These press statements suggest China plays a crucial role not only in restoring peace in Myanmar but also in dealing with the northern alliance organisations and the push to obtain a ceasefire. ■

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