China calls UN efforts in Myanmar "fruitful"

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Beijing, Oct 4 (Reuters) China praised the efforts of a UN envoy trying to end the Myanmar government's crackdown on pro-democracy rallies today, and repeated its own calls for the country's ruling generals to exercise restraint.

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari held talks with junta chief Than Shwe and met detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during his four-day mission to Myanmar this week, but arrests and repression there have continued.

''We give a positive appraisal of the efforts make by the Myanmar government and Mr Gambari,'' China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement posted on the ministry's Web site (www.fmprc.gov.cn).

''The Chinese side made its own efforts in order to support the mediation by the special adviser of the UN secretary on the Myanmar issue,'' Liu said.

China, which neighbours Myanmar and is one of the country's few allies and major trading partners, is seen as one of the voices that might wield some influence with the generals, who are facing the biggest anti-government movement in nearly 20 years.

But despite calling for restraint, China, which has veto power on the UN Security Council, opposes sanctions and wants stability above all else.

REUTERS PD HT1314

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