China’s premier is confident Myanmar will safeguard peace on its border, Chinese state media said today after violence erupted on the Myanmar side in August that pushed thousands of refugees into China.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also pledged more financial aid to the reclusive military-ruled country during a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart, Thein Sein, in the Thai town of Hua Hin, according to the state media report of the closed-door meeting.
China’s Xinhua state news agency said Wen believed Myanmar “could properly handle problems and safeguard peace and stability in the China-Myanmar border region” after the two met on the sidelines of a summit of 16 Asia-Pacific leaders.
In August, Myanmar’s army overran Kokang, a territory that lies along the border with the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan and was controlled for years by an ethnic Chinese militia that paid little heed to the central government.
Many of the refugees were ethnic Chinese, some of them Chinese citizens, who complained their houses and businesses had been sacked and looted during the violence.
Last month, China rapped the former Burma over the violence, demanding the government protect Chinese citizens and make sure such incidents did not happen again.
But relations appear to be improving again.
“To develop good neighbourly China-Myanmar relations with mutually beneficial cooperation conforms with the fundamental interests of the two countries and will be conducive to regional peace and stability,” Wen told Thein Sein, Xinhua said.
China hopes Myanmar would realise stability, reconciliation and development, Wen added, pledging to offer assistance to Myanmar.
Chinese officials have not held briefings with international media during the meeting in Hua Hin, or publicly discussed the substance of their bilateral talks.
Myanmar’s prime minister last month visited the UN general Assembly for the first time in 16 years to promote next year’s elections — the first in nearly two decades — part of a rare charm offensive by country’s military rulers.