China urged nations to end sanctions on Myanmar following April 1 elections that saw democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi win a seat in parliament.
“China has noticed that some western countries have expressed willingness to partially lift sanctions against Myanmar,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing yesterday. “We welcome such statements of partial lifting of sanctions and call on all parties concerned to completely lift their sanctions against Myanmar.”
China nurtured ties with Myanmar’s former military junta, signing agreements to import oil and gas. Myanmar has moved to release political prisoners and open the political process to opposition parties including Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said April 4 that the US will selectively lift restrictions on Myanmar. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations this week called on the US and Europe to end sanctions, a step that may allow Myanmar’s economy to further open and give investors access to its mineral wealth and market of 64 million people.
China hopes the election “will be conducive to promoting political reconciliation in Myanmar and boosting stability and development of the country,” Hong said.