Chinese Envoy Asks Northern Alliance to Halt Offensives
By Lawi Weng 15 March 2017
China’s Special Envoy for Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang asked the Northern Alliance to stop fighting with the Burma Army at a meeting in Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan Province, on Tuesday, according to attendee Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
“He urged us to cease military operations,” said Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw.
The Northern Alliance comprises the TNLA, Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Ongoing clashes between the MNDAA and the Burma Army in the Kokang region of Shan State have killed dozens and sent thousands of residents fleeing across the border to China.
Sun Guoxiang reportedly suggested the Northern Alliance meet with Dr. Tin Myo Win of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center as a next step in the peace process.
He also told alliance representatives about his recent meetings with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw, according to Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw.
Sun Guoxiang first met with the United Wa State Army (UWSA) on Tuesday morning, before meeting the MNDAA, and then the Northern Alliance.
Brig-Gen Tar Phone Kyaw said the Northern Alliance requested Sun Guoxiang convince the Burmese government to conduct peace talks in line with a statement made by seven ethnic armed groups at a UWSA-led summit in Panghsang, in the Wa-occupied region of Shan State, last month.
The Panghsang summit attendees—non-signatories of the current nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA)—said in a Feb. 24 statement that “a new ceasefire agreement” was needed to replace the current NCA, from which the current political dialogue process stems.
The statement also said that “Wa State” would lead political negotiations with the government.