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No support for Kachin refugees in China

For a group of ethnic Kachin refugees in China-- a life of poverty. They fled their home in Myanmar to escape civil war-- but according to a new report from Human Rights Watch, authorities in China have been less than accommodating. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PHIL ROBERTSON SAYING: "It's very clear that China can do this quite easily. And these people are not seeking to stay in China This is not a long-stay population, these are people who want to go home. They're just seeking a temporary assistance and they should be afforded some sort of temporary protection regime that allows for them to live in dignity until they return to Kachin State." According to the report, there are nearly 10,000 refugees who are lacking proper sanitation and shelter. There are still others who've been forced back into the conflict zone by the Chinese government. Beijing denies the claims outright. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HONG LEI SAYING: "Their statement is not correct. This year, Myanmar military forces have had regular sporadic clashes with some armed minority groups. For safety reasons, some people in Myanmar entered china to seek refuge with friends and relatives. These people are not refugees. After the clashes abated they went back to Myanmar. While here, China provided help to them on humanitarian considerations." Myanmar's government is in talks with Kachin rebels to end the decades-old conflict which flared up in the middle of 2011 after a 17-year truce. Julie Noce, Reuters

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