China’s top diplomat visits Myanmar amid opposition protest
China's top diplomat on Saturday arrived on his first visit to Myanmar since the military seized power last year to attend a regional meeting that the government said was a recognition of its legitimacy and opponents protested as a violation of peace efforts.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will join counterparts from Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in a meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group in the central city of Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The grouping is a Chinese-led initiative that includes the countries of the Mekong Delta, a potential source of regional tensions due to an increasing number of hydroelectric projects that are altering the flow and raising concerns of ecological damage. China has built 10 dams along the upper stretch of the Mekong, the part it calls the Langcang.
Military government spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun told a news conference in the capital Naypyitaw on Friday that the attendance of the foreign ministers at the meeting was a recognition of Myanmar's sovereignty and its government.
He said the ministers will sign memorandums of understanding and contracts. He did not elaborate.
It's unclear whether Wang would meet Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military government.
Myanmar's military seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, 2021. It was quickly met by nonviolent nationwide demonstrations and triggered armed resistance that some U.N. experts now characterize as civil war.
According to a detailed list compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 2,053 civilians have died in the crackdown on the resistance movement.
Wang last visited Myanmar to meet with Suu Kyi just three weeks...