China: UN council should try to avoid civil war on Myanmar

Jan 28, 2022, 4:13 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — China’s U.N. ambassador said Friday the U.N. Security Council’s primary goal in strife-torn Myanmar should be to avoid more violence and a civil war.

Zhang Jun told several reporters after the council heard closed-door briefings from the new Myanmar envoys for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United Nations that he hopes their efforts and others “can really continue to calm the situation.”

Almost a year ago — on Feb. 1, 2021 — Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Its takeover was quickly met by nonviolent nationwide demonstrations, which security forces quashed with deadly force, killing over 1,400 civilians, according to a detailed list compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Peaceful protests have continued, but amid the severe crackdown, an armed resistance has also grown, to the point that U.N. experts have warned the country could be sliding into civil war.

The southeast Asian regional group ASEAN, which includes Myanmar, has sought to play a mediating role in Myanmar’s crisis given concerns over how it could affect regional peace, and ambassador Zhang said China believes it should play “a crucial role.”

In April, ASEAN reached consensus on a five-point plan to try to help restore peace and stability including an immediate halt to violence, starting a dialogue among all parties, and appointment of an ASEAN special envoy who would visit Myanmar to meet all concerned parties. But Myanmar has made little effort to implement it.

ASEAN also took months to choose Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof as its envoy, but he never visited Myanmar because the military would not allow him to meet Suu Kyi. In October, Cambodia took over ASEAN’s presidency and in mid-December Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed the country’s foreign minister, Prak Sokhonn to be the regional group’s Myanmar envoy.

Hun Sen himself became the first foreign leader to visit Myanmar since the military takeover, a visit that sparked protests at home and criticism abroad. Opponents said his visit earlier this month legitimized the military takeover and broke the generals’ near-total diplomatic isolation — and he didn’t meet Suu Kyi.

But Cambodian foreign minister Sokhonn said afterward that the talks between Hun Sen and Myanmar’s military leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, achieved “a very good, positive result with a progressive step forward” on implementing the ASEAN agreement.

China’s Zhang said Friday that Beijing welcomes the efforts made by Hun Sen, calling his visit “quite good, quite fruitful,”” and saying “we asked them to continue to make further efforts.”

Zhang said Sokhoon told the council Friday that members have to understand Myanmar’s historic background, “unique political structure” and the role the military plays in that structure — and “only based on that, we can find a solution.”

“Some people do not like the kind of situation (now), but I think what we have to also bear in mind is that we should avoid the worsening of the situation, to avoid more violence, to avoid a civil war,” Zhang said. “That’s, the primary goal we should have bearing in our mind.”

He said China also welcomes the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer as the new U.N. special envoy for Myanmar. She is talking to key parties and has requested to visit Myanmar, he said, and “let’s hope that she can get it done.”

Britain’s deputy U.N. ambassador James Kariuki said Heyzer will try to go to Myanmar soon, “but the condition has to be right.”

He said it was important for the council to hear for the first time from the two envoys, stressing that they have the council’s full support. He said the council is working on a press statement on Myanmar reflecting areas of agreement.

“As the council heard today, 14 million people are in desperate need of life-saving aid now, compared with 1 million before the coup,” Kariuki told The Associated Press. “The longer this goes, the worse it will get. The military need to stop blocking humanitarian access and start honoring their own commitment to implement the five-point consensus. … There can be no further delay.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Kansas governor seeks to regain control of education debate

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor is trying to reassert control over the education debate in a tough reelection race, bidding to regain her preferred focus on public school spending hikes during her term after Republican attacks over transgender athletes and what’s taught in the classrooms, Gov. Laura Kelly sought Wednesday to portray […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery rose $1.24 to $87.76 a barrel Wednesday. Brent crude for December delivery rose $1.57 to $93.37 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for November delivery fell 1 cent to $2.67 a gallon. November heating oil rose 15 cents to $3.69 a gallon. November natural gas rose 9 cents to $6.93 […]
13 hours ago
A woman flashes a victory sign as she walks around in the old main bazaar of Tehran, Iran, Saturday...
Associated Press

Biden juggles Iran nuke talks as Iranian repression grows

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has hit back at Iran over the government’s brutal crackdown on antigovernment protests. He’s praised the “brave women of Iran” for demanding basic rights and signaled that he’ll announce more sanctions against those responsible for violence against protesters in the coming days. The outpouring of anger — largely led […]
13 hours ago
FILE - A Southwest Airlines jetliner sits at a gate on the C concourse of Denver International Airp...
Associated Press

Pilot sues Southwest after colleague exposes himself

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Southwest Airlines pilot is suing the company, her union and a former colleague who pleaded guilty last year to dead-bolting the cockpit door during a flight and stripping naked in front of her. Christine Janning alleges that Southwest retaliated by grounding her after she reported Michael Haak to the […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Guilty! Law school sends out erroneous admissions emails

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts law school says it’s guilty of accidentally sending acceptance emails to thousands of former and current applicants. The Northeastern University School of Law in a statement Wednesday blamed a “technical error” for the glitch, saying the erroneous emails went to more than 200 people who applied for admission starting next […]
13 hours ago
FILE - This combination of file photos shows Republican former Rep. Bruce Poliquin in 2017, left, a...
Associated Press

Congressman wants to halt aquarium money after lobster spat

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A congressman from Maine said Wednesday he will file a proposal to withhold federal money from a California aquarium and conservation group that has recommended seafood consumers avoid buying lobster. The move from Democratic Rep. Jared Golden came a week after a spat with Republican former Rep. Bruce Poliquin about support […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
China: UN council should try to avoid civil war on Myanmar