FPNCC Leaders Meet Chinese Envoy

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Leaders within the ethnic negotiating alliance of the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC) met with China’s special envoy for Asian affairs in Yunnan province, China, this week.

Sun Guo Xiang reportedly held a meeting with the ethnic armed organization representatives in Kunming on Tuesday.

The Burma Army and FPNCC members the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army have engaged in an estimated 40 clashes in northern Shan State last week, largely along the Mandalay-Muse highway.

Meanwhile, the Burma Army and the Arakan Army—also an FPNCC member—have been involved in intensified clashes in Rakhine State and southern Chin State since late 2018.

NMG attempted to confirm the reports of the meeting with members of the FPNCC.

“I haven’t heard about it. It’s a bit early to confirm it. As far as I know, our leaders are traveling but I don’t’ know where they are going,” Col Naw Bu, who is charge of the information department of the Kachin Independence Organization, said.

Director of the President’s Office in the Burmese government Zaw Htay said that he had heard a meeting was taking place but did not know the outcome.

“Generally, if we want to talk to EAOs [ethnic armed organizations], we can talk to them through China. If EAOs want to talk to the government, they can talk to us through China,” he said. “China provides meeting venues and manage the holding of the meeting. That’s all. They don’t try to influence our dialogue meeting.”

Political analyst Maung Maung Soe speculated on what might be on the agenda between FPNCC leaders and special envoy Sun Guo Xiang.

“They will discuss the peace process… I think if China can meaningfully negotiate with both the Northern Alliance group and the Burma Army, clashes will be reduced,” he said.

According to Zaw Htay, Burma respects the role of China in Burma’s peace process.