China proposed a three-phase solution to help settle the issue in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. China believed that the Rakhine issue can be addressed by a solution acceptable to both Myanmar and Bangladesh through consultations between the two neighbouring countries, Wang told a joint press conference here on Sunday with Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Xinhua news agency reported. The international community and the United Nations Security Council should encourage such efforts by creating conditions and good atmosphere for consultations, he added.
The Chinese top diplomat said the Bangladesh government pledged to continue bilateral talks with Myanmar over the issue when he visited the country on Saturday. Myanmar also expressed the same attitude, he added. Wang said the Rakhine issue is a complicated one touching on history, ethnicity and religion, which calls for both an urgent and long-term solution. Thus, China proposes a three-phase solution, he said. The first phase is to achieve a ceasefire so that local residents can no longer be displaced. Through joint efforts, the ceasefire has been in place, Wang said. Second, the international community should encourage Myanmar and Bangladesh to keep communication in a bid to find a feasible solution to the issue, he said.
The two countries have reached an initial agreement on repatriation of refugees fleeing to Bangladesh from Myanmar. The third phase is to find a long-term solution. Stressing that poverty is the root cause of turbulence and conflict, the Chinese Foreign Minister called on the international community to support poverty alleviation efforts in Rakhine state. Development can lead to stability, Wang said, adding that China’s proposal has been backed by both Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Chinese Foreign Minister will participate in the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ meeting to be held in Nay Pyi Daw on November 20-21.