Violence between Burmese government and rebel forces has apparently spilled across the border from northern Kachin to China.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said yesterday that three “bombs” from Myanmar landed in Yunnan province, and added — rather diplomatically — that Myanmar should probably stop letting bombs land in Yunnan. Via Wall Street Journal:
“The Chinese side has launched representations … with Myanmar, requiring them to take the effective and immediate measures to avoid the repetition of similar incidents,” Ms. Hua said at a media briefing in Beijing.
While the conflict in Myanmar’s northern regions was an “internal affair” for the country, Ms. Hua said China wants Myanmar to deal with the issue through “peaceful negotiation” to “maintain tranquility and stability of the border area.”
It’s unclear whether those bombs were from the ground or air, though rebels reported they were mortars.
Thousands of civilians have been displaced since the latest ceasefire broke down in 2011, and one figures that many of those refugees now call China home. The Kachin Independent Army’s (KIA) headquarters is in Laiza, separated from China by a small river. CNTV adds that the bombs fell into “Yunnan’s Yingjiang County and destroyed a civilian building, but caused no casualties.”
Obviously China has a vested interest in Burmese peace. And the US happens to be in agreement — via AP:
The United States earlier said the use of air power in Kachin state is “extremely troubling.” On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is seeking clarity on the situation following conflicting statements from Myanmar authorities, and is urging both the government and Kachin representatives to stop fighting.
“Our view is that all sides need to cease and desist and get into dialogue with each other,” she told a news briefing.
UPDATE, 3:05 pm: Via Xinhua:
There has been no influx of Myanmar’s border residents into Chinese territory, authorities of southwest China’s Yunnan Province that borders Myanmar said Friday.