China is vowing “decisive” measures if Myanmar carries out another attack on its territory.
A bomb from a Myanmar aircraft killed four people near the Chinese border but officials in Yangon said rebels might have fired into China to create “misunderstanding”, Reuters reported Monday.
The rebels do not have aircraft.
Myanmar government forces have been battling rebels on the border with China since last month.
China’s air force sent planes to patrol the border and step up protection of its airspace and Beijing summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to complain about the bombing.
Fan Changlong, deputy head of the powerful Central Military Commission, said Myanmar aircraft have crossed the border “many times” recently.
“The Myanmar side must recognize the seriousness of the issue, seriously deal with this incident, punish those who caused the trouble, apologize and pay compensation to family members, and explain themselves to China,” Fan said.
Myanmar must take strict steps to rein in its armed forces to ensure no repeat of such incidents, he said.
“Otherwise, China’s military will take resolute and decisive measures to protect the lives, property and security of China’s people,” Fan said, without elaborating.
Speaking at his annual news conference on Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the government had the ability and responsibility to “firmly defend” the stability of the border.
Tens of thousands of people, many of them ethnic Chinese, have fled to China to escape the fighting in northeastern Myanmar’s Kokang region.
Myanmar has said Chinese mercenaries were fighting with the rebels and urged China to cooperate to prevent “terrorist attacks” being launched from Chinese territory.
China has denied that any attacks into Myanmar have been launched from its territory.
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