November 19, 2021, 07.52 PM
Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his speech at the IX Moscow conference on international security in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool) AP PHOTO/ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKOCommander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his speech at the IX Moscow conference on international security in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Also readASEAN Condemns the Deteriorating Situation in Myanmar

Indonesia has been among the most outspoken of the ASEAN critics with its foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, stating that Myanmar should not be represented at the political level until it restores democracy.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry declined to comment. The foreign ministries of Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment but on Tuesday, its spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said China supported all parties in Myanmar in seeking political settlement through dialog and would work with the international community on efforts to restore stability and resume democratic transformation.

Myanmar's military government did not respond to a request for comment.

Maintain the principle

A regional diplomat briefed on China’s lobbying effort said its Special Envoy of Asian Affairs Sun Guoxiang visited Singapore and Brunei last week but was told that Ming Aung Hlaing could not participate in the virtual summit.

Sun, faced with the ASEAN opposition, then told Min Aung Hlaing at a meeting in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw on the weekend that China had to accept the ASEAN stand.

China “would maintain the non-political representative principle applied by ASEAN,” the regional diplomat said, citing Sun.

ASEAN has for decades been known for its policy of engagement and non-interference but Myanmar’s coup has changed that.

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