China denies claims it gave green light to Myanmar military coup plotters

MyanmarCHINESE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE denied claims that Beijing consented to, and even supported, the coup that took place in Myanmar on Monday. The Southeast Asian country’s armed forces seized control of key government installations in the early hours of Monday, before announcing that parliament had been dissolved. Hundreds of politicians, including Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, have been arrested, and the fate of many of them remains unknown. The military claims that the general elections of November 8, 2020, which gave Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party 61 percent of the vote, were fraudulent.

Responding to a question by a reporter during a press conference on Wednesday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied that Beijing had anything to do with the coup in Myanmar. “Relevant theories are not true”, he said. Observers have pointed to the meeting that took place in January between Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi, and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who now heads Myanmar’s military government. China is also Myanmar’s largest trading partner, representing over 30 percent of Myanmar’s total trading volume. It is believed that Myanmar’s economy could not survive a systematic economic boycott by China.

But Beijing has been hesitant to decry the coup. On Tuesday, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council met in New York to consider issuing a joint statement condemning the military takeover of the government in Myanmar. Several news outlets reported that the Russian and Chinese representatives effectively blocked the statement by “asking for more time” to consult with their respective governments. On Wednesday, the Chinese government expressed anger following these reports, stating that it was “baffled and shocked by the leak of internal documents under discussion at the Security Council”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 4 January 2021 | Permalink

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