China Invites National League for Democracy to Summit for Asian Political Parties

By The Irrawaddy 8 September 2021

Myanmar’s National League for Democracy will attend a summit for Asian political parties hosted by the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Thursday.

The CPC is planning to hold a virtual meeting with political parties from Southeast and South Asia on Thursday. The party has invited four out of Myanmar’s 93 political parties, including the NLD.

The invitation can be seen as Beijing’s official recognition of the NLD despite attempts by Myanmar’s regime to dissolve it. The NLD won the 2020 general election by a landslide but the regime accused it of vote-rigging and nullified the results. The party leadership, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, have either been arrested or went into hiding.

U Bo Bo Oo, a Yangon regional NLD lawmaker and a member of the Committee Representing Yangon Region Hluttaw (CRYH), told The Irrawaddy that he will represent the party.

Military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party’s spokesman Dr. Nandar Hla Myint wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that central youth affairs committee member Dr. Thant Zin Lwin will attend the “Strengthening political parties’ cooperation in joint pursuit of economic development” meeting.

In last year’s general election, the NLD won over 80 percent of all elected constituencies. The junta says it will hold a new election and has since taken steps to disband the NLD.

In early August, in an online meeting between the junta-appointed foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin and China’s ambassador to Myanmar, Chen Hai, the envoy referred to the State Administration Council (SAC), the governing body of the regime, as the Myanmar government but also voiced concerns over plan to dissolve the NLD.

Sun Guoxiang, a Chinese special envoy for Asian affairs who was in Myanmar from Aug. 21 to 28 at the invitation of the regime, reportedly asked to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. His request was denied and the regime was tightlipped about the visit.

According to sources, Chinese officials have told the regime that Beijing wants the NLD to continue as a political party.

In late July, the CPC also sent a letter of thanks to the NLD’s central executive committee in response to its congratulations on the centenary of the Communist Party’s founding.

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