Myanmar Military Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at Mandalay international airport March 20, 2015. REUTERS
Myanmar’s army chief blamed ethnic Kokang rebels for shelling attacks in southwestern China because they had aimed to damage the well-developed relationship between China and Myanmar as state media reported on Tuesday.
At the meeting on Monday in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyitaw, the army chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing had told China’s ambassador Yang Houlan, that the shells that fell into Yunnan province, near northeastern Myanmar, last week were not from government troops but from the rebels.
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The army chief had put the blame on ethnic Kokang guerrillas for deliberately trying to “cause misunderstanding between the two countries and the armies,” mentioned the kyemon newspaper.
The paper also reported that Myanmar President, Thein Sein, issued an order on Monday, extending a state of emergency and military administration in the Kokang region for 90 days.
China complained on Friday of the shells and air strikes hitting their side of the border. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, urged Myanmar to restore stability to the region “as soon as possible.”
A similar incident took place in March, with Myanmar promising to punish the one responsible for it.
The latest incident occurred as the government stepped up its fight against Kokang rebels along China’s southwestern border.
The Kokang guerrillas , who have engaged in deadly clashes with government troops since Feb. 9 , said they were reclaiming their land, but the government mentioned that it regards the attack as a threat to state sovereignty and will not negotiate a cease-fire.