Myanmar Rohingya
Residents displaced by Rohingya Muslims conflict are pictured fleeing from Maungdaw in Rakhine State in October 2016 AFP

China has said it is willing to help the Myanmar government in its internal peace process to ameliorate the ongoing ethnic clashes in the northern states. It said on Wednesday (30 November) that both the countries should work together to maintain peace and security on their shared border.

Beijing's comments have come in the wake of thousands of people fleeing to China to escape violence following a series of intense clashes between ethnic armed rebels and Myanmar government forces in northeastern states of Shan and Kutkai.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a visiting Myanmar delegation that Beijing was worried about the deteriorating situation. He repeated calls to put an end to military action and urged the Myanmar government to pursue talks to resolve the issue.

"Both sides should properly use the China-Myanmar high-level diplomatic and military mechanism to jointly maintain the peace and stability of the China-Myanmar border region," China's Foreign Ministry statement citing Wang said as reported by Reuters.

"China is willing, in accordance with Myanmar's wishes and on the precondition of not interfering in Myanmar's internal affairs, to play a constructive role in this regard," Wang said.

China has put its army on high alert as it fears the recent clashes in Shan state could spill onto its side of the border it shares with Myanmar, as it did last year leaving five Chinese dead.

Meanwhile, a senior United Nations official on Tuesday (29 November) warned that Suu Kyi's government was risking its reputation in the way it was handling the Rohingya Muslim conflict. His censure is the latest in a series of criticism the country has received in recent times over the ongoing ethnic crisis in the northwestern region.

There is widespread international concern over how the government is dealing with the violence, Adama Dieng, the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said in a statement. Allegations against the security forces need to be "verified as a matter of urgency", he said, and urged the government to allow access to the northwest region.

Aung Suu Kyi
The raging communal clashes in Rakhine State pose the biggest test yet to Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi as she swept to power last year on promises of national reconciliation Reuters/Kimimasa Mayama/Pool

"If they are true, the lives of thousands of people are at risk. The reputation of Myanmar, its new Government and its military forces is also at stake in this matter," Reuters cited Dieng as saying. "Myanmar needs to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law and to the human rights of all its populations. It cannot expect that such serious allegations are ignored or go unscrutinised."

The warning comes less than a week after another global body official labelled the violence "ethnic cleansing" amid allegations that the country's armed forces abused ethnic minority Muslims. The conflict in the restive Rakhine State has sent hundreds fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.

"The government needs, for once and for all, to find a sustainable solution to the situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar, a solution that is in full compliance with the international human rights standards that the government has pledged to respect," the senior UN official added.

Communal clashes that have been raging since 2012 pose the biggest test yet for Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi. She swept to power in 2015 — the first leader to be democratically elected in decades — on promises that her government would bring national reconciliation.