China’s foreign minister has called on Myanmar’s junta to talk to its opponents on its first visit to the country since the 2021 coup that rocked the country.
Beijing is one of the few international allies of the Myanmar military that supplies weapons and refuses to label the coup that ousted the government of Aung San Suu Kyi as a coup.
Wang Yi, the foreign minister, said China expected all parties in Myanmar to “abide by rational consultations” and “strive for political reconciliation”.
Wang also told his counterpart, Wunna Maung Lwin, that “China sincerely hopes that Myanmar will be politically and socially stable,” according to a statement on the website of the foreign ministry.
During Beijing’s most prominent visit to Myanmar since the coup, Wang attends a meeting of foreign ministers with representatives from Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
His comments follow a junta spokesman last week who said talks between the military and deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the chaos were “not impossible”.
Rising civilian violence in Myanmar has raised concerns among its neighbours, with a regional envoy visiting to try to spark talks between the military and its opponents.
And with Western governments imposing post-coup sanctions and violent crackdown on dissent, the isolated junta has turned increasingly to allies, including China and Russia.
In May, a powerful ethnic rebel group from Myanmar with close ties to China called on the junta to engage in a dialogue with the opposition to end the escalating violence that has targeted Chinese business interests.
Beijing said in April it would help protect Myanmar’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity “no matter how the situation changes.”