China Urges KIO to Engage Further With Burmese Govt

Monday, January 13, 2020

Chinese representatives have urged the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) to hold more talks with the Burmese government and to focus these sessions on improving stability in the area along the Kachin-China border, a KIO representative said.

According to Col Naw Bu, who is in charge of the information department for the KIO/Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Chinese special envoy Sun Guoxiang met KIO leaders at the organization’s headquarters in Laiza on January 10.

“[Sun Guoxiang] urged the KIO to hold more political dialogue meetings with the NRPC (National Reconciliation and Peace Center) and for the KIO to be patient in political discussions,” Col Naw Bu said. “He also said that China’s leaders also expect the successful restoration of peace in Burma.”

He went on to describe the meeting as a “goodwill visit” from China in accordance with the Chinese New Year period.

“They requested that the Northern Alliance, including the KIA, not to engage in battles in the border area and to maintain stability in the border area during the Chinese New Year period. They came to talk about it in advance,” Col Naw Bu explained, adding, “We didn’t discuss any military and political agenda items with them in the meeting. We didn’t request anything from them in the meeting, either.”

Sam Awng, of the Kachin Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG), said that he thought the meeting with the Chinese officials was a positive mood.

“As far as I know, they want both sides to maintain stability in the border area,” he told NMG, adding that he did not know whether the Chinese special envoy had brought up the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, to which the KIO is not a signatory, but which it has been pressured to sign.

Sun Guoxiang also met with officials from Northern Alliance member the Arakan Army in Laiza.

Representatives from the Burmese government and the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organizations held informal peace talks in China on December 15 last year, to discuss the potential signing of a bilateral ceasefire agreement. They agreed to meet again in early this year, but a date and location of the next meeting have yet to be determined.

“They agreed to meet again in the final week of this month. They have yet to set up the details, as the meeting venue,” Col Naw Bu told NMG.

PCG’s Sam Awng said he believed the meeting would eventually happen, even if it isn’t held in January.

“Maybe they will meet in February. I don’t exactly know whether they will meet again in the final week of this month,” he added.