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Myanmar apologises over border bombing: China

Myanmar officially apologised on Thursday for a cross-border aerial bombing that left five Chinese citizens dead last month, Beijing`s foreign ministry said.

Myanmar`s foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin offered his remorse as a special envoy of President Thein Sein during talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing, the ministry said in a statement.

“On behalf of the Myanmar government and military, I officially apologise to China and express my deep sympathy to the families of the victims and the injured,” he was quoted as saying by China`s official Xinhua news agency.

“Myanmar is willing to keep in touch with China over compensation for the victims and injured and make proper arrangement,” he added.

Five Chinese farm workers died last month when a bomb apparently from a Myanmar warplane landed in Chinese territory after Myanmar`s military launched airstrikes against rebels in the country`s mountainous Kokang area.

Tensions rose further when China subsequently mobilised fighter jets in response.

Kokang has strong bonds with China — local people speak a Chinese dialect and China`s yuan is the common currency — and tens of thousands of people have crossed the border to flee the fighting.

China acted as an economic and political shield for Myanmar for decades, when the country was under military rule and the junta isolated by the West.

Its reward was a wealth of sometimes controversial investments, particularly in dams, mines and energy infrastructure.

But as Myanmar has begun to reform and open up it has sought to reduce that dependence, sometimes to Beijing`s irritation.

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