Beijing said on Thursday it had mediated a temporary ceasefire in fighting between the Myanmar junta and ethnic armed groups in the north of the country close to the Chinese border.
Recent talks between Myanmar’s military and the groups, facilitated by China, resulted in several agreements “including the temporary ceasefire and maintaining the momentum of dialogue”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in a statement.
Clashes have raged across Myanmar’s northern Shan state after the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) launched an offensive in late October.
The groups have seized military positions and border hubs vital for trade with China in what analysts say is the biggest military challenge to the junta since it seized power in 2021.
“The conflict in northern Burma is undergoing a clear de-escalation,” Mao said.
“This not only serves the interests of all parties concerned in Myanmar, but also helps to guarantee peace and tranquility on the Sino-Myanmar border,” she said.
According to the United Nations, more than 200,000 people have fled their homes since the fighting broke out on October 27 in northern Shan state.
Beijing is a major arms supplier and ally of the junta but ties have been strained in recent months over the junta’s failure to crack down on online scam compounds in Myanmar that Beijing says target Chinese citizens.