Myanmar military chief Gen Min Aung Hlaing praised China as an “eternal friend” and thanked it for countering international pressure on Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis during a visit to Beijing.
During a meeting with members of China’s Central Military Commission and Joint Staff Department chief Gen Li Zuocheng on Tuesday, Gen Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar regards China as “an eternal friend” and “a strategic partner country,” a Burmese daily The Irrawaddy reports quoting a statement from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief.
“Myanmar is thankful of China as a good neighbor for its correct stance and standing against the international community over the Rakhine State issue,” the military chief said.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape a military crackdown triggered by coordinated attacks on security posts in Rakhine by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, The Irrawaddy reports.
The United Nations called the military’s actions a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Last year, China voted against the UN Human Rights Council’s move to establish a body to investigate possible genocide in Myanmar. Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi said the Rohingya issue should not be “complicated,” “expanded” or “internationalized” because it was in essence an issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh.