Myanmar Junta Hosts Chinese Envoy for Talks on Closer Ties

Two Myanmar junta ministers met with China’s special envoy to Myanmar, Deng Xijun, in Naypyitaw on Monday to discuss closer collaboration in ASEAN affairs and the United Nations, The Irrawaddy reports.

Deng Xijun arrived in Myanmar just as the 78th UN General Assembly launched in New York, where delegates are expected to decide on Myanmar’s representation at the UN.

Following the February 2021 coup, the UN rejected the junta’s candidate and retained U Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s permanent representative at the global body. U Kyaw Moe Tun publicly opposed the coup and stayed loyal to the civilian government and resistance movement.

Junta-controlled media reported that Deng met with deputy prime minister and foreign minister Than Swe and minister for the office of the Union Government Ko Ko Hlaing separately on Monday in Naypyitaw.

The Chinese envoy and junta ministers reportedly discussed upgrading relations between the two countries, enhancing biliteral cooperation, maintaining peace and stability along the Myanmar-China border, developments in Myanmar’s “peace and national reconciliation process”, and China’s development support.

The two sides also discussed closer collaboration in both the regional and international arenas, especially ASEAN and the UN, according to the foreign ministry.

Junta minister Ko Ko Hlaing and Deng also discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation.

China has remained a major ally and arms supplier to the junta since the 2021 coup. Deng first visited Myanmar in December after succeeding Sun Guoxiang as China’s special envoy. He followed up with trips in February, March and July this year and held separate meetings with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and leaders of ethnic armed forces based in northern Myanmar.

Over the past month, at least nine junta ministers have also flown to China for meetings. This week, the junta’s construction minister, central bank governor, health minister and agriculture, livestock and irrigation minister also visited Nanning City and Jiangsu province for China-ASEAN-related meetings and conferences.

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