BANGKOK -- Monday's high-level meeting between Myanmar's military government and the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as well as counterparts from the Mekong Delta countries, was held in Bangkok.
MRTV, the state broadcaster, reported that Wang met his colleagues from Myanmar and Laos, Thailand and Cambodia at the Lancang–Mekong Cooperation group meeting, which was held under the theme "Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity" and took place in Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The TV report showed Wang and other foreign ministers rubbing shoulders in solidarity prior to the beginning of the meeting. However, it did not give any further details.
This grouping, which is Chinese-led, includes the countries in the Mekong delta. It's a potential source for regional tensions because of an increasing number hydroelectric projects that alter the flow and raise concerns about ecological damage. China has constructed 10 dams on the upper Mekong, which it calls the Lancang.
China is being criticized for its dams on the Mekong River upstream, which have a negative impact on water levels and downstream fisheries. These are critical to many Southeast Asian countries' economies.
Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tu, a spokesperson for the military government, stated last Friday that ministers would be signing several agreements. He stated that the presence foreign ministers was an acknowledgement of Myanmar's sovereignty as well as its government.
China is Myanmar's largest trading partner and an old ally. China, along with Russia, has invested billions in Myanmar's infrastructure, including mines, oil pipelines, and other infrastructure.
Many Myanmarans suspect China of supporting the military coup. Beijing has not condemned the army's takeover. China claims it is committed to non-interference with the affairs of other countries.
The opposition to the ruling military council in Myanmar, the shadow National Unity Government of Myanmar, protested the Bagan meeting. They claimed that any partnership with Myanmar's military would violate the will and weaken community building.
According to it, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' peace plan was directly opposed by the Myanmar meeting. ASEAN has been unable to arrange a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi (a former civilian leader) because Myanmar's rulers are obstructing its efforts.
In February 2021, Suu Kyi was ousted. This triggered widespread peaceful protests which soon turned into armed resistance. The country then entered what U.N. experts call a civil war.
According to China's Foreign Affairs Ministry, Wang met with Prak Sokhonn, the Cambodian Foreign Minister. Prak Sokhonn is also the ASEAN special representative to Myanmar.
According to the statement, Wang said that China expected to cooperate with ASEAN in pushing Myanmar to achieve political reconciliation. He also encouraged it to resume the democratic transition process to realize the dream of returning power to the people. It stated that China supports Myanmar's exploration of the most suitable development path for its national circumstances.
According to Myanma Alinn Daily, Wang met with Wunna Maung Lwin, Myanmar Foreign Minister, on Sunday to discuss bilateral projects and closer cooperation.
According to China's official Xinhua News Agency, Wang said that China would assist Myanmar in protecting its legitimate interests and national dignity on the international stage.