Beijing (TIP): China on Thursday denied that it was backing the military coup in Myanmar amid protests in front of its embassy in Yangon by pro-democracy protesters who accused Beijing of aiding the coup plotters. Pro-democracy protesters have staged repeated demonstrations outside the Chinese embassy in Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, demanding that Beijing stop supporting the country’s junta, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. Myanmar’s military ousted the elected government in a coup on February 1 and put de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint under house arrest. Holding up signs saying “Support Myanmar, Don’t support dictators” and “Stop helping the military”, the pro-democracy protesters accused Beijing of aiding the coup plotters, the Post report said. Asked at a media briefing here on Thursday about the allegations that Beijing backed the coup, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson replied: “You said there are some ‘rumours’ circulating in Myanmar. It’s true. Some say China is behind the thing. But our Ambassador to Myanmar already stated China’s position and refuted those rumours.” “I would like to reiterate again that those are totally rumours circulating online. They are intended to sow discord between the two countries,” she said.
China shared close relations with the military junta when it ruled the country for over two decades and later with Suu Kyi after she swept into power in 2016 after years of incarceration. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar in January last year, China and Myanmar signed 33 deals, especially on the implementation of the $9 billion China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which provided Beijing access for the first to time to the Indian Ocean. China has denied prior knowledge of the coup and any involvement in it.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had visited Myanmar on January 11 during which he held talks with Suu Kyi and met Myanmar Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing, who staged the coup on February 1. PTI