China claims to be resettling people fleeing northern Myanmar clashes

While the fighting has displaced over 200,000 people according to UN estimates, it remains unclear how many have sought refuge across the border in China

BEIJING – China said on Thursday it was helping resettle people who have crossed its border fleeing clashes in northern Myanmar, where the UN says over 200,000 people have been displaced by fighting between the junta and an alliance of ethnic minority groups.

“Since the outbreak of fighting in northern Myanmar, some people from the Myanmar side have entered the Chinese territory to escape the fighting,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular briefing.

Out of “humanitarianism and close friendship” with Myanmar, she said, “the Chinese side has properly resettled the people from the Myanmar side who entered China to avoid the war.”

Beijing has “made every effort to treat the sick and injured,” Mao added.

China urged the warring parties to “cease hostilities as soon as possible so that the displaced persons can return to their homes as soon as possible and resume normal production, life and work,” she said.

Mao did not identify the people fleeing across the border or confirm how many people crossed.

At least 75 civilians including children have been killed and 94 people wounded in the fighting, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, citing initial reports from the field.

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