Abrar Hussain: China said yesterday that exerting pressure was ‘not helpful’ in resolving the issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar after UN investigators determined Myanmar’s military had carried out mass killings.
On Monday, a UN report marked the first time that the United Nations had explicitly called for Myanmar officials to face genocide charges over their campaign against the Rohingya.
The investigators also called for the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Myanmar, subject its officials to targeted sanctions, and set up an ad hoc tribunal to try suspects or refer them to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
However, China, having close relations with Myanmar, has backed what Myanmar officials claim is a legitimate counter-insurgency operation in the western state of Rakhine, despite the international community’s condemnation. In the past, Beijing has helped to block a resolution on the crisis at the UN Security Council.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing that the historical, religious and ethnic background of the Rakhine issue was “extremely complex”.
“I think that unilateral criticism or exerting pressure is actually not helpful to resolving the problem,” Hua said.
A year ago, Myanmar government troops led a crackdown in the Rakhine State in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on 30 police posts and a military base. This led to the exodus of 700,000 refugees into camps in neighboring Bangladesh.