China will be asked to do more to encourage the military rulers of Myanmar to engage in dialogue with the opposition, the U.N. special envoy to the troubled Southeast Asian nation said on Thursday.
Ibrahim Gambari praised the role of Beijing, Myanmar's main ally, in helping to arrange his visit to Yangon last month in the aftermath of a bloody crackdown on street protests in Myanmar.
"They (China) have helped a lot," he told a news conference in the Indonesian capital, the latest stop on a regional tour to drum up support for a united front against the generals.
"Therefore in the recognition of that I've been asked to come to Beijing to encourage the Chinese authorities to continue to do more, to move the authorities in Myanmar to move along the path which will sustain dialogue."
Myanmar's official media say 10 people were killed when soldiers crushed last month's monk-led demonstrations against 45 years of military rule, but Western governments say the toll is likely to be much higher.
"We need to go on one path that is a combination of strong encouragement to authorities in Myanmar to do the right thing along with some incentives to the extent that the world is not going out there to punish Myanmar," he added, speaking after meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda.
Gambari is due to go to India and then China next week. Both nation's bordering Myanmar are seen as having some sway over the ruling military junta. He will also go to Japan.
Human Rights Watch also urged China to use its U.N. Security Council membership to help end state repression in Myanmar.
"Chinese officials have publicly called for 'cooperation' and 'dialogue' between the Burmese generals and their critics, but said nothing when these critics were arrested, 'disappeared' or killed," Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director of the New York-based rights group, said in a statement.
"Even worse, the Chinese government has blocked most of the international efforts to effectively address the crisis."
Washington has urged China to do more to lean on its junta ally and the two have differed over what action the Security Council should take.
Japan cut aid to Myanmar on Tuesday, a day after the European Union stiffened its sanctions and President George W. Bush threatened to follow suit.
But governments in Asia have often been reluctant to impose sanctions because of trade and investment ties and a desire for Myanmar's huge energy reserves.
Indonesia's foreign minister said Myanmar should follow the path of Indonesia.
"We could transform ourselves from a military-dominated government to a full-fledged democracy... It was not easy," Wirajuda told a joint news conference.
"Myanmar can come to us and we can share."
Indonesia is a member of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has attempted without success to politely nudge ruling generals in Myanmar into following a democratic path and into freeing political prisoners through a policy of "constructive engagement".
(Additional reporting by Nick Macfie in Beijing)