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Washington, Beijing alarmed by fighting in Kachin State
Publication Date : 25-01-2013
Washington has joined Beijing in expressing alarm over the conflict in Kachin State, issuing a strongly worded statement through its embassy here yesterday
“The United States strongly opposes the ongoing fighting, which has resulted in civilian casualties and undermined efforts to advance national reconciliation,” it said, citing media and non-governmental organisation reports that government troops were continuing “an offensive in the vicinity of the Kachin Independence Army headquarters in Laiza” despite the ceasefire announced last week.
Washington also said it was “deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in the area” and repeated its call to allow “unhindered access to those in need of assistance from the United Nations and international humanitarian agencies”. It also called on both sides “to take all necessary steps to create an atmosphere for dialogue to achieve sustainable peace in Kachin State”.
The statement follows a visit by an envoy from Beijing on Saturday to discuss restoring peace along the border between Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province where fighting has resulted in missiles hitting Yunnan.
China’s vice foreign minister, Fu Ying, met with President Thein Sein on Saturday in Yangon to discuss border security. Thein Sein also met with Lt-General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, on the same day.
After meeting Thein Sein, Qi Jianguo flew to Nay Pyi Taw for talks with Myanmar’s military leader, Vice Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, on Sunday. They discussed strengthening the relationship between the two militaries for stability at border areas in Kachin State.