Beijing, March 14 No further deadly stray firing incidents should happen near the Myanmar border or the Chinese military will take “firm and decisive action” to protect the safety of its people, senior Chinese military leader Fan Changlong said on Saturday.
Fan, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while speaking with Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Defence Services over the telephone, after a bomb was reportedly dropped by a Myanmar warplane on Friday, killing four Chinese nationals in China’s Yunnan province, Xinhua news agency reported.
Fan called on Myanmar to seriously investigate the incident, and urged the Myanmar government to severely punish the perpetrators, as well as apologise to and compensate the families of the victims.
Myanmar’s warplanes have on several occasions crossed the China-Myanmar border and stray fire has caused casualties and loss of property of the Chinese people, Fan said.
On March 8, stray fire from a fight that occurred between Myanmar’s government forces and rebel forces in Myanmar’s Kokang region had damaged a house in China, according to the Chinese military.
Friday’s bombing hit a sugarcane field in the border city of Lincang, killing four people working there and injuring nine others, China’s state media reported.
Fan voiced hope that the Myanmar side would settle the incident well and work with China to ensure the safety and stability of the border areas.
He said that Min Aung Hlaing has understood China’s feelings and assured that the incident would be jointly investigated by personnel from Myanmar and China. Min Aung Hlaing also promised to properly handle relevant issues and hold relevant people accountable, he added.
Fan said the Myanmar military should advance friendly cooperation with the Chinese army.
Since Friday, China’s Air Force have sent fighter jets to patrol over the China-Myanmar border areas to “track, monitor, warn and chase away” Myanmar military planes flying close to China.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned Myanmar Ambassador Thit Linn Ohn in Beijing on Friday night, lodging solemn representations to him.
On Saturday, Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan also lodged urgent and solemn representations to the Myanmar government and military.
Earlier, Myanmar had denied that any bomb from its forces had fallen in China and said the rebels might have fired into China to create “misunderstanding”, according to the South China Morning Post daily.
Myanmar government forces last month launched a major offensive against rebels on the border with China.
According to a BBC report, some 30,000 Myanmar refugees have fled to China after the military operation began. Myanmar is fighting ethnic Han Chinese rebels in the remote region, in its north-western state of Shan.