A man cycles past burned out vehicles, the aftermath of a fire amid a crackdown by security forces on demonstrations, in Yangon on March 15, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)
China has urged Myanmar to take further measures to protect Chinese citizens and their property in the country after some Chinese-financed factories in Yangon were vandalized in attacks on Sunday afternoon.
The attacks－including arson and looting－injured two Chinese employees and caused property losses of 240 million yuan (US$36.9 million) at 32 Chinese-financed factories, according to a partial assessment, the Global Times quoted the Chinese embassy in Myanmar as saying. No fatalities had been reported at the factories.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Chinese embassy in Myanmar called the situation "very severe".
"China urges Myanmar to take further effective measures to stop all acts of violence, investigate and punish the perpetrators by the law and ensure the safety of lives and property of Chinese enterprises and personnel in Myanmar," the statement said.
"We call on the people of Myanmar to make their appeals within the law, and not to be incited or used to undermine China-Myanmar friendly cooperation."
China's friendly policy toward Myanmar is for the benefit of all the people of Myanmar, and economic and trade cooperation has always been based on the principle of mutual benefit, with particular emphasis on benefiting the people of Myanmar, the statement said.
Most of the affected factories are in the textile and clothing industry, where Chinese investment has created nearly 400,000 jobs in Myanmar. The actions of lawbreakers also harmed the interests of the people of Myanmar, the statement added.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that after the attacks, the Chinese embassy immediately contacted Chinese companies and asked local police departments to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese enterprises and personnel. And Myanmar sent police officers and firefighters to the affected area to strengthen security.
The attacks－including arson and looting－injured two Chinese employees and caused property losses of 240 million yuan (US$36.9 million) at 32 Chinese-financed factories, according to a partial assessment, the Global Times quoted the Chinese embassy in Myanmar as saying. No fatalities had been reported at the factories
Zhao said Beijing will closely follow developments in the situation in Myanmar and is very concerned about the safety of Chinese enterprises and personnel. He said China hopes that Myanmar will take concrete measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens in Myanmar and resolutely avoid the recurrence of similar incidents. Chinese in Myanmar are reminded to enhance their security awareness.
Zhao said he hoped that all parties in Myanmar will stay calm and restrained and bear in mind the fundamental interests of the people of Myanmar. He called on all parties to keep resolving differences through dialogue and consultation under the framework of the Constitution and laws to push forward the process of democratic transformation in the country.
The pressing task now is to prevent new bloodshed and ease tensions as soon as possible, Zhao added.
Meanwhile, Myanmar's State Administration Council on Monday declared that the Yangon townships of North Dagon, South Dagon, Dagon Seikkan and North Okkalapa have been put under martial law, citing the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services.
The council gave the administrative and judicial power to the commander of the Yangon region to perform security work, and maintain the rule of law and tranquillity. On Sunday, martial law was also imposed in the Hlaingthaya and Shwe Pyi Thar townships of Yangon after some factories there were burned down.
A one-year state of emergency was declared in Myanmar on Feb 1 and the state power was handed over to the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chair of the newly formed State Administration Council.
Xinhua contributed to this story.
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