An alliance of pro-democracy forces and ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar has congratulated Chinese leader Xi Jinping, saying it wants to work with China to restore peace in the country.
The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) said it wanted to work with China for Myanmar and the region as a bedrock for the building of a community with a shared future.
Formed after the military takeover last year, the NUCC represents hundreds of anti-junta forces, including the shadow National Unity Government (NUG)’s parliamentary wing, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, ethnic armed organizations, political parties, civil society bodies and other groups. The goal is to achieve a federal democratic union by building unity among the forces.
The message congratulated the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people during the party’s 20th National Congress.
“This [bilateral] community is particularly important as the people of Myanmar continue their own search for a path towards peace and prosperity, which can only be realized once the military returns to the barracks and a true federal government representing the people can emerge,” said the NUCC’s congratulatory message.
China is a major investor and controls several strategic infrastructure projects in its southern neighbor, including energy pipelines and a proposed port that would give Beijing vital access to the Indian Ocean. China also has leverage over some ethnic armed organizations active near the border.
It is one of the few powerful countries, along with Russia, which has engaged with the regime since the coup.
Despite its engagement with the junta, China has said it wants to see stability in Myanmar.
The NUG, which commands the loyalty of the vast majority of citizens, has committed itself to China’s goal of a shared future with Myanmar and repeatedly pushed China to engage with the civilian administration.
It said if China continues to work with the regime, it will damage its international reputation and increase hostility from Myanmar’s population.
China has had no official engagement with the NUG.