The Chinese government's top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Sunday that Beijing is ready to engage with relevant parties to ease the situation in Myanmar, where the military seized power last month.
China's friendship is with all of Myanmar, State Councillor Wang told a news conference on the sidelines of China's annual gathering of parliament.
Myanmar police fired tear gas to break up a sit-in demonstration by tens of thousands of people in Mandalay on Sunday, while protests were held in at least half a dozen other cities in some of the most widespread action against last month's coup.
Security forces cracked down on many of the protests.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades on protesters in the country's main city Yangon and in Lashio town in the northern Shan region, videos showed A witness said police opened fire to break up a protest in the historic temple town of Bagan, and several residents said in social media posts that live bullets were used.
There was no word of any casualties.
Video posted by media group Myanmar Now showed soldiers beating up men in Yangon, where at least three protests were held despite overnight raids by security forces on campaign leaders and opposition activists.
The United Nations says security forces have killed more than 50 people to stamp out daily demonstrations and strikes in the Southeast Asian nation since the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.
"They are killing people just like killing birds and chickens," one protest leader said to the crowd in Dawei, a town in the country's south. "What will we do if we don't revolt against them? We must revolt."
A local campaign manager for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy died in custody after being arrested in Yangon on Saturday night, a legislator from the now dissolved parliament said in a Facebook post. The cause of Khin Maung Latt's death was not known, but Reuters saw a photograph of his body with a bloodstained cloth around the head.
Residents in the city said soldiers and police moved into several districts overnight, firing shots. They arrested at least three people in Kyauktada Township, residents there said. They did not know the reason for the arrests.
"They are asking to take out my father and brother. Is no one going to help us? Don't you even touch my father and brother. Take us too if you want to take them," one woman screamed as two of them, an actor and his son, were led off.
Reuters was unable to reach police for comment. A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.
The state-run Global New Light Of Myanmar newspaper quoted a police statement as saying said security forces were dealing with the protests in accordance with law. It said the forces were using tear gas and stun grenades to break up rioting and protests blocking public roads.