In the statement foreign ministry spokeswoman said the international community "should fully respect Myanmar's judicial sovereignty."

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"As a neighbouring country of Myanmar, the Chinese side hopes the relevant parties in Myanmar will promote ethnic reconciliation via negotiations and gradually realise stability, democracy and development," the statement added.

"This not only is in the interest of the Myanmar side but also will benefit regional stability," the statement said.

China is one of Myanmar's closest allies and a major consumer of its vast natural resources, despite Western concerns over the military-ruled nation's rights record.

Human rights groups say the impact of international sanctions against Myanmar has been weakened by neighbours such as China spending billions of dollars on the country's natural gas, timber and precious stones.

India, which also has growing business links to Myanmar, has urged the country's ruling generals to speed political reforms, saying it hoped the issue of release of political prisoners would be addressed as part of that process.