Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China had made representations with Myanmar over the matter. China has asked Myanmar to take China's concern seriously, take every factor into account and properly handle the case, he said.

Since then, these Chinese nationals were arrested by Myanmar at the beginning of this year, China has repeatedly raised representation with Myanmar from various channels, Kang added. China has requested the Myanmar side to consider the actual situation of those loggers and deal with the matter in a lawful, reasonable and sensible way, the spokesperson said.

China also asked Myanmar to resolve the case properly and return those Chinese citizens as soon as possible, Kang added. The loggers were arrested following a crackdown in January on illegal forestry activities in Myanmar's conflict-stricken northern Kachin state.

Though the Ministry has not confirmed the actual number of loggers, media reports from Myanmar said over 150 Chinese nationals have been convicted. The loggers were sentenced under a 1963 law calling for jail terms from 10 years to life for anyone who steals or otherwise misuses or abuses public property. Those Chinese nationals were arrested in raids on illegal logging that began on January 4 in Myanmar's conflict-stricken northern Kachin State.

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