Ethnic Armed Groups to Meet China

Ethnic militias meet with Chinese envoy amid conflict

Members of the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC) met with a Chinese envoy on Tuesday, amid disruptions in cross-border trade. FPNCC represents a group of seven ethnic armed groups, involved in the ongoing military conflict against the Myanmar army in Shan State.

It is currently unknown what was discussed during the meeting.Representatives of the FPNCC travelled to China to meet with Sun Guo Xiang, special envoy for Asian affairs in Kunming, Yunnan. Several border crossings with China have been closed following the outbreak of violence. These include attacks dangerously close to the border city of Muse, a chief trading post.

Sun Guo Xiang has also met with members of the Tatmadaw. According to President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay, the government’s peace commission met with the special envoy as well, expressing what the government wants and what the ethnic armed groups should be doing. According to General Tar Bone Kyaw, leader of one of the armed groups, China said “they do not accept our fighting. They do not like it and told us to stop, whatever it takes. It is like they are pressuring us”.

The route between Muse and Mandalay is a key component of the in-development China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. This is important for China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Bridges and other important sites on or near the highway have come under fire since the initial Northern Alliance attacks on August 15. More than 50 foreign tourists were evacuated via helicopter from the city of Hsipaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.