No masses of Myanmar refugees in China

2013-03-07 10:14:35 GMT2013-03-07 18:14:35(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

No large numbers of Myanmar refugees have entered China through the border at southwest China's Yunnan Province, and the situation there is "stable and totally under control," Governor of Yunnan Li Jiheng said Thursday.

"Less than 1,000 Myanmar residents are currently staying on the Chinese side, compared with more than 3,000 at the peak time," Li said in response to a media query about a reported influx of Myanmar refugees who have fled clashes in northern Myanmar.

"Should Myanmar residents enter Yunnan (to seek refuge) again, we will certainly provide humanitarian services to ensure food and accommodation for them, in accordance with the instruction of the Chinese central government," Li, a national lawmaker, said on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

Since armed clashes broke out between Myanmar government forces and the ethnic Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in 2011, thousands of Myanmar border residents, mostly women, children and the elderly, have entered Yunnan's Dehong Prefecture, which borders Myanmar's state of Kachin, to seek refuge with their Chinese relatives.

Li said China understands the Myanmar government's stand of maintaining a unified nation, and it also understands the legitimate rights of ethnic groups in northern Myanmar.

"China and Myanmar are very good neighbors. Frictions between the Myanmar government and the ethnic Kachin Independence Army are an internal issue for Myanmar," Li said.

The Chinese government has made a lot of efforts to facilitate peaceful talks between them. "We have created opportunities for the two sides to held talks in Ruili City (of Dehong)," said the governor. "The talks are progressing very well."

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