Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular press briefing in Beijing that China was helping other countries get their people out.
“Recently, some countries have asked China for assistance. From a humanitarian point of view, we have provided convenience for their citizens in northern Myanmar to evacuate through China,” Mao said.
China, which has extensive economic interests in Myanmar, also urged “the relevant parties to put the interests of the people first, cease fire and end war as soon as possible, resolve differences through dialogue and consultation and avoid escalation”, Mao said.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted a government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in the 2021 coup, ending a decade of tentative democratic reform and triggering widespread protests.
In various parts of the country, democracy activists have taken up arms alongside ethnic minority insurgents who have been battling for self-determination for decades.
One of the group that launched the latest offensive, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), reported heavy clashes in Shan State on the weekend and said some of its fighters had been affected when junta forces used “gas bombs containing an internationally banned chemical weapon”.
It said its fighters had been given medical treatment but provided no evidence to back up its accusation.
A junta spokesperson confirmed the fighting with the TNLA and dismissed their accusation of poisonous gas.
“They attacked and the military responded. TNLA experienced many losses and as usual, they started the regular accusations of us using toxic gas etc,” said the spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun.
The junta has acknowledged it is facing “heavy assaults” from the insurgent groups and ordered all government staff and those with military experience in the capital to prepare to serve in case of emergency.
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