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China Says Oil Pipeline with Myanmar Safe, Calls for End to Fresh Conflict

Amid intensifying conflicts in Myanmar, Beijing on Friday announced that the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines remain unaffected, while strongly urging an “immediate” ceasefire in the region.

“The relevant pipeline facilities of China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline have not been affected by the fighting between government forces and armed groups in Myanmar,” said Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Emphasizing the importance of the cooperation between China and Myanmar, Wang said: “China pays close attention to the conflict in the border region, urges all relevant parties in Myanmar to immediately cease fire, earnestly pay attention to China’s security concerns.”

In response to the escalating violence, China prohibited its citizens from traveling to the conflict-stricken northern areas of Myanmar.

Recent days have seen heightened skirmishes in the northern Shan state, near the China-Myanmar border.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Arakan Army have claimed control of numerous outposts and four towns, and blocked critical trade routes to China.

The United Nations expressed alarm at the severe fighting in Shan state, pointing to reports of artillery fire and air raids causing civilian harm, displacement of tens of thousands, and hundreds fleeing across the border.

Meanwhile, Japan-based Kyodo News reported Myanmar’s military junta has warned the Southeast Asian country could break apart if it cannot control attacks by ethnic militias.

The junta’s appointed Acting President Myint Swe, in a meeting of the national defense and security council on Wednesday, cautioned that Myanmar could “split into various parts” should the junta fail to curb attacks by ethnic militias.

Source : aa