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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Briefing on Myanmar

2017/12/12

China listened attentively to the briefing by Under-Secretary-General Feltman and noted his positive evaluation of the progress in the situation in Rakhine state and the efforts of Myanmar and Bangladesh. China also took note of the briefing by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ms. Patten.

Since the violent attacks in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, China has made its position clear on many occasions, expressing condemnation of the violent attacks and support for Myanmar’s efforts to maintain stability. As a friendly neighbor of both Myanmar and Bangladesh, China has provided emergency humanitarian relief for the appropriate settlement of displaced persons and, at the same time, worked with them to push for dialogue and consultations in order to find a solution.

Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Bangladesh and Myanmar and proposed a three-phase approach to address the issue of Rakhine state.

The first phase is to cease hostilities on the ground and restore stability and order so that people can enjoy calm and do not feel compelled to flee. At present, the goal of this stage has largely been achieved. Massive population flows have stopped. It is critical to prevent a relapse of the situation, especially a recurrence of conflict.

The second phase is for the international community to encourage communication between the two countries so that they can find practical ways to solve problems through consultations on an equal footing. Now that the two countries have signed a repatriation agreement, it is essential to put it into practice and achieve tangible results.

The third phase is to face squarely the root causes of the problem and explore ways to address them. Poverty is the source of turmoil and conflicts. We call on the international community to increase support to Rakine state to help it eradicate poverty, pursue development through poverty reduction and realize stability through development.

This proposal represents the greatest possible consensus on all sides and has the full agreement of both Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The problem in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has a complex historical, ethnic and religious background. It cannot be solved overnight, but calls for a gradual approach. At present, the situation on the ground has been visibly eased. The humanitarian relief operations have been actively carried out. Myanmar and Bangladesh have maintained dialogue and consultations, and are in the process of following up on the repatriation agreement they have signed. Both countries are engaged in cooperation with the United Nations and other relevant organizations. Myanmar is actively implementing the report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. China appreciate those efforts on the part of Myanmar and Bangladesh and hopes that the international community will view the difficulties and challenges facing the Government of Myanmar objectively, remain patient and provide support and help.

The Security Council adopted a presidential statement on the question of Rakhine state at the beginning of November (S/PRST/2017/22). Now the situation in Rakhine state has shown positive changes. It is the consistent view of China that the question of a Rakhine state should be addressed appropriately by Myanmar and Bangladesh through bilateral channels. Only an agreement accepted by both countries concerned can be implemented and sustained and win the necessary understanding and support of various sectors within the countries concerned. Any solution reached under strong external pressure may ease the situation temporarily but will leave negative after effects.

China hopes that the two countries will continue to implement the relevant measures and that the Council and the international community will play a positive and constructive role in that regard. China stands ready to work with all the parties concerned to play a constructive role in the restoration of order and the realization of stability and development in Rakhine state.

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