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Wang Yi: China Expects the Special Meeting of ASEAN Leaders to be Conducive in Three Aspects

On April 22, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchanged views on the Myanmar situation in telephone conversations with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, and Bruneian Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, respectively. Brunei currently holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Wang Yi said that the upcoming special meeting of ASEAN leaders is timely and important. The Chinese side expects the meeting to play a constructive role in de-escalating the Myanmar situation, send out positive messages and be conducive in three aspects:

First, the meeting should be conducive to promoting political reconciliation in Myanmar. The proper settlement of the Myanmar issue mainly depends on the country itself. The way out is for all parties of Myanmar to seek new understanding through political dialogues within the constitutional and legal framework and continue pushing forward the hard-won democratic transition. The Chinese side hopes that the meeting can encourage the Myanmar side to put first the overall interests of the country and the people, and send out signals of peaceful reconciliation, with all concerned parties exercising restraint and moving toward each other.

Second, the meeting should be conducive to showing ASEAN's constructive role. Myanmar is a member of the ASEAN family. ASEAN knows better than any other countries and regional organizations the special situation of Myanmar, and is better positioned to participate in its problem-solving in a constructive way. China expects that ASEAN will stick to the "ASEAN way" featuring unity, inclusiveness and consensus through consultations, build unified ground and make a common voice, so as to further demonstrate to the international community that ASEAN has enough political wisdom and collective will to provide Myanmar with constructive assistance, and has enough political courage to safeguard regional peace and stability, as well as solidarity and cooperation among ASEAN members.

Third, the meeting should be conducive to fending off external interference. Practice has shown that wanton suppression of external forces makes no contribution to solving a country's internal issues. Instead, it would bring turbulence or even deteriorate the situation, further affecting and disrupting regional stability. China calls on the international community to take an objective and impartial approach, and do more things to relieve the tense situation in Myanmar, instead of the contrary. At present, the international community should jointly support ASEAN to play its due role in this aspect.

Wang Yi said that China expects this meeting to make a good start for the "soft landing" of the situation in Myanmar. China will continue to support Brunei in fulfilling its duties as the rotating chair of ASEAN, and believes that Thailand, Brunei and other ASEAN countries will play important and unique roles in making the meeting a success. China will maintain close communication with ASEAN and continue to work with all parties in Myanmar in its own way.

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