China Says It Just Brokered a Ceasefire Between Myanmar’s Junta and Ethnic Guerrilla Groups

China Says It Just Brokered a Ceasefire Between Myanmar’s Junta and Ethnic Guerrilla Groups

BEIJING — Myanmar’s military has reached a ceasefire agreement with an alliance of ethnic minority guerrilla groups it has been battling in the north, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The agreement was brokered at talks mediated by China on Wednesday and Thursday in Kunming, a Chinese provincial capital about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the border with Myanmar, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said.

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“China hopes the relevant parties in Myanmar can conscientiously implement the agreement, exercise maximum restraint toward each other and solve the issues through dialogue and consultations,” she said at a daily briefing in Beijing.

Myanmar has been wracked by violence that began after the army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.

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An alliance of three armed groups launched an offensive against the military in October and took control of Laukkaing, a key city on the border with China, last week.

China is concerned about the rising violence and the safety of Chinese citizens in northern Myanmar, where there is an active border trade between the two countries.

China has also been cracking down on cyberscam operations that have trafficked Chinese workers into Myanmar and forced them to work, including in Laukkaing.

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Mao said the military and the Three Brotherhood Alliance — which comprises the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army — agreed to an immediate ceasefire, the disengaging of military personnel and the settlement of their disputes through negotiations.

“The two sides promised not to undermine the safety of Chinese people living in the border area and Chinese projects and personnel in Myanmar,” she said.

A previously reported ceasefire was not honored by either side.

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