China proposes three-phase plan to resolve Rohingya crisis

November 20, 2017 - 9:48 AM
Rohingya refugees head to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Balukhali near Cox's Bazar after receiving permission from the Bangladesh army two day after crossing the border from Myanmar. (File photo by Zohra Bensemra, Reuters)

SHANGHAI — China has proposed a three-phase plan for resolving the Rohingya crisis, starting with a ceasefire, that has won the support of Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Foreign Ministry said.

More than 600,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since late August driven out by a military clearance operation in Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingyas’ suffering has caused an international outcry.

Visiting the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China believed that the issue could be addressed by a solution acceptable to neighbors Myanmar and Bangladesh through consultations.

A ceasefire should be followed by bilateral dialogue to find a workable solution, the ministry website reported late on Sunday. The third and final phase should be to work toward a long-term solution.

Wang said a ceasefire was basically in place already, and the key now was to prevent a flare-up. He hoped the two sides could soon sign and implement an agreement already reached on repatriation.

The international community and the United Nations Security Council should give encouragement and support to both countries “to create the necessary conditions and a good environment”, it quoted Wang as saying at a joint press conference with Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader.

Myanmar was supportive of the Chinese plan, as was Bangladesh, where Wang visited earlier in the weekend. In Dhaka Wang said the international community should not complicate the situation.