As Myanmar’s military cracked down on anti-coup protests across the country with live ammunition, resulting in at least 18 deaths, China continued to refrain from criticizing the Tatmadaw. In fact, Chinese state media and officials avoided even mentioning the bloodshed. That (lack of) response was the natural extension of Beijing’s refusal to take sides in the conflict between Myanmar’s generals and the country’s people since the military seized power by deposing the democratically elected government on February 1.
At an informal United Nations General Assembly session devoted to the situation in Myanmar on February 26, China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun laid down China’s position: “What happened in Myanmar is, in essence, Myanmar’s internal affairs.”