Sun, Jan 06, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Myanmar refugees remain fearful as fighting escalates

AP, LAIZA, Myanmar

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chun-ying (華春瑩) said on Friday that during armed clashes between Myanmar government forces and Kachin rebels on the night of Dec. 30, three bombs landed in the Chinese border area but did not cause any casualties.

Hua added that while the Chinese government regarded the fighting as Myanmar’s internal affair, Beijing still hoped that the Myanmar government would address the issue through “peaceful negotiation with relevant parties.”

China is a key ally of Myanmar as the country’s main aid donor and investor. However, relations have cooled as Myanmar reaches out to the West to help kick-start economic growth.

Many Western nations have eased economic and political sanctions imposed on the previous military government. However Kachin State’s position on the Chinese border means Beijing can still exercise its influence over both sides.

The US earlier said that the use of air power in Kachin State is “extremely troubling.”

On Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the US is seeking clarity on the situation following conflicting statements from Myanmar authorities, and is urging both the government and Kachin representatives to stop fighting.

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