China will firmly safeguard the lives of its citizens near the Myanmar border, Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday, less than two days after a bomb dropped by a Myanmar war plane killed four Chinese nationals and injure nine others.
“What happened was deeply distressing,” Li said, adding: “We have responsibility and ability to firmly safeguard stability in the border areas between the two countries and protect the life and property of our people.”
The incident occurred in the Lincang area of China’s Yunnan province, which shares border with Myanmar. The two countries share a 2000-km long border.
Li’s remarks come soon after vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong urging Myanmar to punish the perpetrators, as well as apologise to and compensate the families of the victims.
“Myanmar's warplanes have on several occasions crossed the China-Myanmar borders and stray fire has caused casualties and loss of property of the Chinese people. Chinese fighter jets patrolled over the China-Myanmar borders after the deadly bombing to “track, monitor, warn and chase away” Myanmar military planes flying close to the Chinese side,” state media reported.
Li made the remarks on Sunday at his annual press conference at the end of China’s yearly Parliament session.
Touching upon other international issues like the situation in Ukraine and Crime, Li said China hope Ukraine-issue to be settled through dialogue.
“We hope there will be a negotiated settlement of this issue through dialogue,” Li told the press conference when asked by a foreign journalist to spell out the country’s stand on the issue.
“On the issue of Ukraine, China has adopted an objective and just position. We respect Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
The Premier added that the Ukraine-issue has added to the complexity of the geopolitical situation and impacted the global economic recovery, the premier said.
On the issue Russia’s annexation of Crime, he said there were complex causes behind the issue of Crimea, and China hopes to see a political settlement through dialogue.
“We hope there will be harmonious coexistence between neighbors, and what we hope to see is that there will be the pursuit of common development and win-win outcomes between European countries and between all countries in the world,” he said.
On Sino-US ties, Li said there were differences between the two countries but that it was more important that Beijing and Washington shared extensive interests.
“When differences are properly handled, the two sides can have more extra energy to further expand the convergence of interests,” he said.