Hundreds of protesters opposed to Myanmar’s coup demonstrated at the Chinese embassy in Yangon on Thursday (Feb 11) accusing Beijing of supporting the military junta despite Chinese denials.
“Support Myanmar, Don’t support dictators,” read one placard in Chinese and English.
One protester told Myanmar media: “Chinese ministers seem to be acting in a way to support the military coup.”
The Chinese embassy made no immediate response.
Late on Wednesday, it posted a statement on Facebook dismissing reports on the Internet of Chinese planes bringing in technical personnel, and said the only flights were regular cargo flights importing and exporting goods such as seafood.
The embassy’s Facebook page was inaccessible on Thursday.
When asked about the rumours that China is sending equipment and IT experts to Myanmar, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said he had not heard of it.
“There have been false information and rumors about China on issues relating to Myanmar,” he said, reiterating that China was following the situation closely and hoped all parties would bear in mind national development and stability.
China has traditionally been viewed with suspicion in neighbouring Myanmar, where it has significant economic and strategic interests and has often backed Myanmar’s position against Western criticism.
While Western countries have strongly condemned the Feb 1 coup, China has been more cautious – emphasising the importance of stability. Some Chinese state media referred to the army takeover as a “cabinet reshuffle”.
China nonetheless agreed to a UN Security Council statement that called for the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detainees and voiced concern over the state of emergency.