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Armed Group Attacks Myanmar Border Guard Post in Rakhine State, Injuring Three

Sun Guoxiang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's special envoy for Asian affairs, denounced the AA's attack on border guard posts in Rakhine as an unacceptable, irresponsible act, during a meeting with Min Aung Hlaing on Tuesday in the capital Naypyidaw, according to a statement issued by the military chief's office.

The two also discussed measures taken by the government and Myanmar military and China's assistance to achieve permanent peace in Myanmar and China's support for a unilateral four-month cease-fire that the military declared in several states � except for Rakhine state � in December, the statement said.

We have nothing to comment on China's denunciation of the AA's attacks, and there's been no pressure on us, said AA spokesman Khine Thukha.

Sun Guoxiang also met with Tin Myo Win, chairman of Myanmar Peace Commission (MPC) on Wednesday at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) to discuss Myanmar peace process, regional stability, and development.

In general, there have been some improvements in the peace process, such as a trip by the MPC to Chiang Mai [Thailand] and China, and yesterday's meeting with the Chinese representative and the MPC chairman, said commission member Aung Soe. We have some progress, and I am pleased with it.

Ending decades-long wars between the national military and ethnic armed organizations is a key priority of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, whose government has been holding periodic negotiations with army officials and rebel leaders since it came to power in 2016.

Ten ethnic armies have signed the government's nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA), but 11 others, including the AA, have not.

The AA is one of seven ethnic armed groups belonging to the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) that has proposed a confederate system in Myanmar that allows ethnic organizations to maintain their own armed forces � a move that the Myanmar military firmly opposes.

Myanmar's peace process is important for China to achieve its One Belt, One Road projects, said political analyst and writer Than Soe Naing, referring to the Chinese government's massive undertaking to build roads, railway lines, and ports, and oil and gas pipelines across the Asian continent.

China has facilitated negotiations between the Northern Alliance coalition of four ethnic armies, including the AA, that are engaged in hostilities in Myanmar's border areas and other groups involved in the peace process to try to reach a point where they can hold political talks to settle ethnic conflict and war.

It seems that China is very disappointed about the AA's attacks on police outposts, Than Soe Naing said, adding that Sun Guoxiang met with AA leaders a few weeks ago, though what they discussed wasn't publicly reported.

I think he would have asked AA not to carry out this kind of attack again, he added. The AA seems to be at a crossroads and must decide which path to choose.

Neither the Northern Alliance groups nor the Myanmar military can ignore China's opinions, Than Soe Naing said.

If the AA decides to create an independent Republic of Rakhine [confederation], not only the AA, but also the Rakhine people will face negative repercussions, he said without elaborating.

Copyright (copyright) 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

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