China proposes Myanmar solution

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the Asia Europe Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting at Myanmar International Convention Centre Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) – China proposed a three-phase solution on Sunday for Myanmar’s Rakhine state starting with a cease-fire, which is basically in place.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China believed the issue can be addressed by finding a solution acceptable to both Myanmar and Bangladesh, where many from Rakhine state have fled, through consultations.

While the key is to prevent flare-ups, the second phase should be bilateral talks between the two countries to find a workable solution, Wang said, adding that he hoped the two sides could sign and implement a repatriation agreement that has almost been reached.

Wang also urged the international community to increase support and investment and realize development for the region to tackle poverty, which is the root of the issue, he said.

“China is willing to make contributions in this regard and play its due role,” Wang said while meeting reporters jointly with Myanmar State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar.

The Chinese foreign minister, who had just wrapped up a visit to Bangladesh on Saturday, said the proposal also won the support of Bangladesh, and he hoped and believed it would win global understanding and support.

Wang also proposed building a China-Myanmar economic corridor that would go from Yunnan province to the new city of Yangon in Myanmar and Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu special economic zone.

China regards Myanmar as an important partner in the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the two countries have a huge cooperation potential, he said.

He suggested the plan for this corridor take into consideration the most urgent needs of Myanmar and start from projects most needed by the nation’s people.

In their earlier meeting, Suu Kyi told Wang that Myanmar appreciated China’s economic corridor proposal and hoped to cooperate with China in areas of transportation and electricity.

She also endorsed the three-phase proposal, saying Myanmar will soon launch the repatriation work through dialogue and consultation with Bangladesh for an early solution to the issue.

Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw also met Wang on Sunday.

By Mo Jingxi