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China says 3-step approach to tackle Rohingya crisis approved by Myanmar and Bangladesh

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi presented the three-step proposal to tackle the Rohingya crisis during his trip to Bangladesh and his ongoing visit to Myanmar.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2017 23:21 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Rohingya crisis,China's three-step proposal,Rohingya ceasefire
Myanmar President Htin Kyaw (right) with Chinese foreign ninister Wang Yi during a meeting at the President House in Naypyitaw on November 19, 2017. (AP)

China said on Monday its three-step proposal to tackle the Rohingya crisis, beginning with a ceasefire, has been approved by Bangladesh and Myanmar.

More than 600,000 members of the Rohingya community have fled to Bangladesh since late August, when the Myanmar military launched a crackdown in Rakhine state following attacks by Rohingya militants.

The atrocities and hardships faced by the Rohingya - described by the UN human rights chief as “ethnic cleansing” - have triggered an international outcry.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi had presented the three-step proposal to tackle the crisis during his trip to Bangladesh and his ongoing visit to Myanmar. On Monday, an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of foreign ministers opened in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.

“His (Wang’s) initiative was approved in Bangladesh and also won approval from Myanmar. I hope the proposal will help resolve the current crisis and more importantly, fundamentally address the crisis,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a regular news briefing.

A statement from China’s foreign ministry quoted Wang as saying that a ceasefire should be followed by bilateral dialogue to find a workable solution. It added the final phase would focus on working toward a long-term solution.

Wang was quoted by the Chinese state media as saying in Dhaka that the “turbulence in Myanmar has become a burden to Bangladesh even as Bangladesh manages to provide humanitarian aid to the Rohingya people who have crossed the border into Bangladesh”.

He added, “With the hard work of all sides, at present the first phase’s aim has already basically been achieved, and the key is to prevent a flare-up, especially that there is no rekindling the flames of war.”

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi attends the Asia Europe Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting at the Myanmar International Convention Centre in Naypyitaw on November 20, 2017. ( AP )

The state media reported: “While speaking highly of the moves taken by Bangladesh, Wang said China is willing to continue to provide emergency humanitarian aid to those in need in Bangladesh.

“China holds the view that the Rohingya issue can only be solved properly through consultations between Bangladesh and Myanmar, and only in this way will a suitable agreement be accepted by all parties.”

Wang said the “international community, including the UN, should help create an atmosphere for consultations between the two countries”.

A Reuters report from Naypyidaw quoted European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as saying that stopping violence will be among the key steps to resolve the crisis.

“We believe that stopping the violence, the flow of refugees and guaranteeing full humanitarian access to the Rakhine state, and safe, sustainable repatriation of refugees are going to be key,” Mogherini said on the sidelines of the ASEM meeting.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 15:53 IST