Int’l community should help resolve Rohingya issue: China

Saturday, 23 December 2017

China called upon the international community to play a constructive role in helping Bangladesh and Myanmar resolve the Rohingya issue instead of 'complicating' the matter.

"We believe that the international community should constructively help Myanmar and Bangladesh make efforts to resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation instead of complicating the issue," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

She said China believes that dialogue and consultation between Myanmar and Bangladesh is the only way out to resolve the issue of the Rakhine State, UNB reports Friday.

"We've noted that Myanmar and Bangladesh have recently carried out many rounds of interactions, inked the MoU on repatriating the displaced [people] and set up relevant joint working group, which significantly eased the situation there," said the spokesperson on Thursday.

She mentioned that they have said many times that the issue of the Rakhine State belongs to Myanmar's domestic affairs and it involves complicated historical, national and religious factors.

Earlier, the government of Myanmar has informed UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee that all the access to the country has been denied and cooperation withdrawn for the duration of her tenure.

Lee was supposed to visit Myanmar in January to assess the state of human rights countrywide, including the human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

"It's a shame that Myanmar has decided to take this route," said Lee, adding that the Myanmar government has repeatedly denied violations of human rights are occurring throughout Myanmar, particularly in Rakhine State.

In reply to a question regarding this, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the Chinese side always maintains that the disagreements on the issue of human rights should be addressed through constructive dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

"As a friendly neighbour, China hopes that Myanmar can enjoy political stability, national harmony and economic development," she said.

On December 19, Bangladesh and Myanmar formed a joint working group to start the next step of work for the repatriation of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, and signed the terms of reference (ToR).

After the signing of the ToR, Myanmar's Foreign Ministry said Bangladesh and Myanmar reached an agreement on terms of repatriation for those who fled Rakhine State "four months ago" and are currently in temporary Bangladeshi camps.

The agreed ToR mandates the JWG to undertake all the necessary measures to start the safe and voluntary return, resettlement and reintegration process of displaced Myanmar residents as envisaged in the 'Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State'.

Earlier, a bilateral document on return of Rohingyas was signed by Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali and Union Minister Kyaw Tint Swe at the State Counsellor's Office on November 23 in Nay Pyi Taw.

An estimated 655,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State since August 25, raising the total Rohingya population in Cox's Bazar to 867,000, said the UN migration agency on Sunday.