Monday, January 21, 2013

Burma govt meets with Chinese military team


Monday, 21 January 2013 17:22 Mizzima News

Qi Jianguo, a senior officer in the Chinese armed forces, expressed his government’s hope that Burma would settle peacefully its conflict with the Kachin ethnic group and safeguard tranquility along the two countries’ mutual border, according to a report on Sunday in China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

In Beijing in May 2012, Qi Jianguo (right), then assistant to the chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, met with a study-tour delegation of Burmese senior officers headed by Lt. Gen. Aung Than Tut (left). (PHOTO:

Qi, the deputy chief of general staff in the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and his party met with Burma’s President Thein Sein on Saturday in Rangoon at what was billed “the first Strategic Security Consultation” between the armed forces of China and Burma.

Xinhua quoted Qi saying that “China will not interfere in the internal affairs of Myanmar.” However, he reportedly added that Beijing hopes the Burmese government “will take care of the security needs in Sino-Myanmar border areas, and adopt effective measures to achieve stability there.”

Qi also met with Burma’s Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann, Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Vice Snr-Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, and his deputy, Gen. Soe Win.

Beijing last week reprimanded the Burmese authorities after artillery shells and at least one bomb landed on the Chinese side of the border in a series of ground assaults and air strikes on Kachin positions near the Kachin Independence Organization headquarters of Laiza, a town which straddles the Sino-Burmese border.

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, confirmed on Thursday that a bomb was dropped about 500 meters inside China two days earlier, but that no one was injured.

He said in a statement that China had expressed “grave concerns and dissatisfaction,” and noted that Thursday’s was the fourth bomb to land on Chinese soil, following three others on the evening of December 30.

He called for both sides to “realize a ceasefire soon.”

Burma’s state-run media did not elaborate on the substance of the military meeting on Saturday, simply noting that following a Guard of Honor for Lt-Gen Qi Jianguo, he and Burma’s Gen. Soe Win “exchanged views on regional and global conflicts, and promotion of joint drills and ties between the two armed forces.”
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