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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation of Rakhine State of Myanmar

2024-04-04 13:56

Madam President,

The Rakhine State of Myanmar has seen renewed fighting recently. The briefers have just updated us on the latest situation. The Myanmar authorities have publicly stated their position on the conflict, and the parties concerned have done the same.

The conflict in the Rakhine State is, essentially, Myanmar’s internal affairs. The international community should stay objective and impartial, and, on the premise of respecting Myanmar’s sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and national unity, encourage and bring the parties concerned to bridge their differences through dialogue and consultation, to achieve a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities as soon as possible and work together in maintaining peace and stability of Myanmar.

As a friendly neighbor of Myanmar, China has been closely following the developments in the Rakhine State, and is continuing its efforts to promote peace and dialogue through multiple channels. We hope that the parties concerned will exercise maximum restraint, stop fighting as soon as possible, protect the safety and security of civilians, and resolve problems through dialogue and consultation. As we speak, a Chinese delegation is visiting Myanmar to carry out communication and mediation efforts on the situation in the Rakhine State. China will continue to play a constructive role in stabilizing the situation on the ground as soon as possible.

Madam President,

Since conflict broke out in the Rakhine State in 2017, large numbers of people have entered Bangladesh to escape the chaos. The Government of Bangladesh and the local people have provided generous assistance to those people and have made great sacrifices. China appreciates Bangladesh’s efforts and contributions.

To bring those who have escaped turmoil to return to their homeland must be achieved gradually through dialogue and consultations between Myanmar and Bangladesh. The recent surge of fighting in the Rakhine State has indeed had an impact on the repatriation process. We should note that through the coordination and facilitation by regional countries and the UN, Myanmar and Bangladesh have built a good foundation for promoting repatriation. And their desire and determination to continue such cooperation remains unchanged. The international community needs to continue supporting the two countries in engaging in direct dialogue and enhancing mutual understanding and trust, so as to create favorable conditions and an enabling environment for the repatriation process.

Both Myanmar and Bangladesh are China’s friendly neighbors. China has been actively undertaking diplomatic efforts to facilitate repatriation. We have put forward a three-stage approach to resolving the Rakhine issue and have provided many shipments of humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and Bangladesh. We have facilitated important common understandings reached between the two sides. China stands ready to continue its support and assistance for the early resolution of the repatriation issue.

Madam President,

The subject of this meeting is the situation in the Rakhine State. Some members have just talked about the political situation in Myanmar. I would like to point out that there are no quick fixes, let alone an external solution to the Myanmar issue. Whether or not it can be ultimately and properly resolved depends fundamentally on and can only depend on Myanmar itself. Be it a democratic transition or national reconciliation, it is up to all Myanmar parties and factions to take action in the best interests of the country and its people, and resolve problems through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the Constitution and law.

Myanmar is an important member of the ASEAN family. Since the beginning of this year, thanks to the facilitation by the Lao chairmanship of ASEAN and the efforts of ASEAN members, ASEAN has made positive progress in engaging Myanmar and providing humanitarian assistance. The international community should continue supporting ASEAN in playing a leading role, respect the ASEAN way, promote ASEAN solidarity, and maintain the hard-won positive momentum.

Some Council members have stated that the Council should take further steps and impose sanctions on Myanmar. China is against such an approach, as doing so would only aggravate hostilities and confrontation.

To conclude, let me emphasize that China is connected with Myanmar by mountains and rivers, and China’s policy of friendship with Myanmar extends to all people of Myanmar. We sincerely hope that Myanmar will enjoy political and social stability and economic development. China has always provided, and will continue to provide assistance to the best of its abilities and play a constructive role to this end.

Thank you, President.

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