US Secretary of State Calls ASEAN to Firmer Stance on Myanmar

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members in Bangkok to request that they hold Myanmar’s junta government accountable for violence.

Secretary Blinken asked that more pressure be put on Myanmar to restore peace and democracy.

Blinken called the nation by it’s former name, Burma, and highlighted the importance of China’s involvement in restoring peace. 

He also urged that the ASEAN nations stick to the “five-point consensus” they agreed upon in order to end ongoing fighting and to foster dialogue. 

Thailand shares its longest land border with Myanmar, and recently hundreds of Thai people fled their homes following a recent airspace violation by one of Myanmar’s jets. However Myanmar has reportedly apologized for the incursion, saying it was accidental. 

Earlier this month China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, became the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Myanmar yet, and called on the junta to work toward reconciliation. Laos has also called for “political stability” in Myanmar. 

According to the United Nations, at least 382 children have been killed in Myanmar since the February 2021 coup, with an estimated 250,000 more displaced by conflict.