Myanmar Deputy Home Afffairs Minister Brig. Phone Swe told diplomats and reporters that Burmese troops were acting on a tip-off from China when they raided an illegal arms factory in the northeastern region of Kokang, AP reported. The incursion of government troops into the region provoked a backlash from ethnic militias which in turn incurred a stampede of approximately 30,000 Burmese refugees across the border into China. The crisis provoked an unusual public request from China to Myanmar to keep the situation under control, and Phone Swe’s comments appeared an attempt to show that Sino-Burmese relations are still solid. Beijing’s tip-off would appear to violate the official stance that nations should not interfere in one another’s domestic politics. Following the announcement in Burma, state media published a statement by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "China never interferes in Myanmar’s internal affairs and would like to see Myanmar resolve its issues through peaceful consultations."
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