China tells Myanmar military it wants closer ties

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PV International Desk : China wants closer ties with Myanmar’s military to help protect regional peace and security, a senior Chinese general told the visiting head of the southeast Asian country’s army.

China and Myanmar have had close diplomatic and economic ties for years, including increasingly in the strategically important oil and gas sectors, and China has offered its support to its southern neighbour, also known as Burma, throughout a crisis over its treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s Rakhine State, most to neighbouring Bangladesh, since a Myanmar military crackdown in response to attacks on the security forces by Rohingya insurgents in August.

The United States on Wednesday for the first time called the Myanmar military operation against the Rohingya “ethnic cleansing” and threatened targeted sanctions against those responsible for “horrendous atrocities”.