Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Myanmar Rejects China's Offer to Settle its Dispute with Bangladesh

Rohingya Aid Ship Nautical Aliya Docks At Chittagong Port

(Photo : Getty Images) Rohingya refugees gather for aid supplies as the crew of the Nautical Aliya distributes food and hygiene supplies at Balu Khali refugee camp in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Myanmar has rejected China's offer to help resolve its diplomatic dispute with Bangladesh over the recent exodus of minority Rohingya Muslims, a government spokesperson said on Monday.

"Myanmar and Bangladesh are already trying to solve the Rakhine issue," Zaw Htay, a spokesperson from the State Counselor's Office, said. "Our government's policy is to resolve this problem bilaterally between Myanmar and Bangladesh."

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China has offered to mediate the conflict between the two nations over the plight of tens of thousands of Rohingya who left to Bangladesh after a violent crackdown that started last October in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Since then, the Rohingya Muslims have been living in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, which is near the border with Myanmar. Most citizens from Myanmar believe that the Rohingya are illegal refugees from Bangladesh and call them "Bengalis."

"We can understand China's offer for mediation, as it has its interests in the region such as with the Kyaukphyu pipeline, but as I have said, our policy is to resolve [the issue] between Myanmar and Bangladesh ourselves," he added.

The oil pipeline worth $1.5 billion connects Rakhine state's deep water port in the town of Kyaukphyu in the Bay of Bengal with the city of China's Kunming. However, operation has not started yet because the countries are still to finalize the deal and sign a contract, Radio Free Asia reported. Beside the crude pipeline, China also wants to ensure that its infrastructure development interests in both countries are secured. 

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