The Irrawaddy

China Does Not Have Special Interests in Supporting Myanmar’s Peace Process: Official

NAYPYITAW — Chinese Special Envoy Sun Guoxiang said China does not have its own interests in supporting Myanmar’s peace process.

“We urge [the stakeholders] to negotiate and discuss. But our country doesn’t have any interests regarding that,” he told reporters in Naypyitaw’s Horizon Hotel on Thursday.

Sun Guoxiang, the special envoy of Asian Affairs under China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has helped facilitate peace negotiations between the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups based along the China-Myanmar border.

He told reporters that China is committed to supporting Myanmar in achieving peace for the sake of all Myanmar nationals.

“If peace is not achieved, it is also harmful for stability,” he told reporters.

He added that if the country achieved peace, the China and Myanmar border would also be peaceful and stable.

The special envoy met with the army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Friday and discussed the peace process, border security, the Rakhine crisis and bilateral cooperation.

As Myanmar’s largest neighbor, China has been a critical player in the peace process. Since 2013, China became closely involved through the appointment of special envoys and invitations for Myanmar leaders to come to China.

After China intervened, the northeastern-based ethnic alliance the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) led by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) joined the second session of the peace conference in May of last year.

The seven members of the FPNCC are in Naypyitaw this week to participate in the third session of the peace conference. Before the conference, the alliance sought further support from China in ensuring security for the groups that are in ongoing clashes with the Myanmar Army.

The government and military met the FPNCC members separately on Wednesday and Thursday. In regards to those meetings, the State Counselor’s Office said it discussed issues related to conflict reduction, peace negotiations and the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.