China watching Myanmar border carefully

Jan. 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM
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BEIJING, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The situation along the Chinese border with Myanmar is stable after the government in Naypyitaw declared a truce with Kachin rebels, Beijing said Tuesday.

Myanmar last week announced a unilateral cease-fire to its conflict against ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Myanmar. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday that the situation along the shared border was calm.

"According to information from Yunnan province (in southwest China), the situation on the Chinese side of the border with Myanmar is currently stable," he was quoted by China's official Xinhua news agency as saying.

The spokesman added that Beijing was giving the situation "great attention" noting both parties to the conflict were called on to settle their differences at the negotiating table.

"China is in close contact with all concerned parties and is playing a constructive role," he added.

Beijing in early January expressed its concern about the fighting after confirming that three bombs landed on Chinese territory during fighting between Kachin rebels and Myanmar forces late last year.

Fighting in Kachin erupted in 2011, ending a 17-year truce.

The international community last year commended Myanmar, known formerly as Burma, for a series of political reforms that began with general elections in 2010. Security and human concerns continue to tarnish the government's reputation, however.

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