China urges nationals to leave north Myanmar region amid unrest

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s embassy in Myanmar urged its nationals on Thursday to leave the Laukkai area in Kokang region in northern Myanmar as soon as possible, citing growing security risks.

Myanmar’s military has been battling coordinated rebel attacks in the north in its biggest battlefield challenge since the 2021 coup, worrying neighbouring China.

“The current security situation in Myanmar’s Kokang Self-Administered Zone is serious and complex,” China foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press conference on Thursday.

“We hope the relevant Myanmar parties maintain the highest level of restraint, take the initiative to de-escalate the situation on the ground, jointly push for a soft landing of the situation in northern Myanmar,” Mao said.

She also urged local authorities to guarantee the safety of Chinese personnel.

Earlier this month, China mediated peace talks between Myanmar’s ruling military and rebel groups, and the parties agreed on a temporary ceasefire and to maintain dialogue.

The insurgent alliance, however, reaffirmed its commitment to defeat what it called Myanmar’s “dictatorship”, and made no mention of peace talks or a ceasefire.

(This story has been refiled to fix garble in paragraph 5)

(Reporting by Baptista Eduardo and Albee Zhang; Editing by Andrew Heavens)