KUALA LUMPUR: A summit between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday was held without a representative from Myanmar, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Monday (Nov 22).
As of Sunday, ASEAN countries excluding Myanmar had agreed with China that Myanmar’s envoy to Beijing would attend, Saifuddin said. Myanmar authorities had no immediate comment on the no-show and a spokesman could not immediately be reached.
ASEAN sidelined Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, who has led a bloody crackdown on dissent since seizing power on Feb 1, from virtual summits in October over his failure to make inroads in implementing an agreed peace plan, in an unprecedented exclusion for the bloc.
Myanmar refused to send junior representation and blamed ASEAN for departing from its non-interference principle and caving to Western pressure.
CHINA NOT SEEKING HEGEMONY: XI
Monday’s China-ASEAN virtual summit, which was held to celebrate 30 years of dialogue, would help regional peace, stability and development, said Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Chinese state media.
At the summit, Xi reportedly told ASEAN leaders that Beijing would not coerce its smaller regional neighbours.
China would never seek hegemony nor take advantage of its size to “bully” smaller countries, and would work with ASEAN to eliminate “interference”, Xi said.
“China was, is, and will always be a good neighbour, good friend, and good partner of ASEAN,” state media quoted Xi as saying.