China, an ally of Myanmar’s junta, on Tuesday called for a political solution to resolve the Rohingya issue, saying “unilateral accusations and pressure” will not work.
The comments from the Chinese foreign ministry came a day after the UN investigators demanded prosecution of Myanmar’s top military leaders including the army chief for genocide against the country’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims.
Some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled the country’s northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh after the army launched a crackdown last year on insurgents. There were reports of arson, murder and rape by soldiers and vigilante mobs.
Myanmar, a mainly Buddhist country, has denied the allegations of ethnic cleansing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters that a political solution is needed to be found to resolve the issue when asked for her reaction to the UN investigators’ recommendations.
“The Rakhine state has a complex background in terms of history, religion and ethnic groups. We hope that Bangladesh and Myanmar could engage in more dialogue and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the Rakhine state,” she said.
When a reporter asked since China has blocked actions against Myanmar in the UN Security Council, will it continue to do so on this issue, Hua said: “I do not agree that China has blocked actions against Myanmar in the UN”.
The issue has a very complicated historical background, she said.
“We need to find a political solution to it. There is some progress between Bangladesh and Myanmar in resolving the issue. International community should help them properly resolve the issue. Unilateral accusations and pressure will not help solve the problem,” she added.
China, which has been backing Myanmar’s military junta over two decades, has extensive investments in the Rakhine state.