China’s lobbying for Myanmar junta to join Xi Summit met with opposition

China’s Special Envoy of Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang has pressed Southeast Asian governments to allow Myanmar’s military ruler to attend a regional meeting hosted by China’s President next week, but has faced heavy opposition, diplomatic sources told Reuters reporters.

He visited Singapore and Brunei last week, but was told that Myanmar military junta chief Ming Aung Hlaing would be unable to attend the virtual summit.

The crisis in Myanmar has been brought into the spotlight following a military coup on February 1 that deposed the elected civilian government led by the country’s State Counsellor and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, causing bloodshed nationwide.

Last month on October 26, ASEAN leaders took an unprecedented step by barring Myanmar’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, from attending an ASEAN summit.

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Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, according to four diplomatic and political sources in the region, wanted Gen. Min Aung Hlaing barred from attending a China-ASEAN summit held by Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 22.

“Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Brunei have agreed to keep the same posture as the ASEAN summit,” an ASEAN government source told Reuters, referring to the demand that Myanmar be represented by a non-political figure.

Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s foreign ministry, said Indonesia’s perspective on who should represent Myanmar at the upcoming leader’s summit is consistent.

SOURCE: Reuters

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