On July 2, only country in ’s immediate neighborhood to accuse of interference in its internal affairs. Senior General Min Aung , the commander-in-chief of the or the combined armed forces of , accused of arming terrorist groups like the Army (AA) and Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in an interview with Russian state-run TV channel Zvezda. He also sought international help to suppress them.became the
Rohingya Refugee Camps Are the Next Frontline in COVID-19 Fight
Min Aung support and for countering international pressure on over its treatment of civilians, a Muslim minority in State.’s statement is telling. It reveals that is putting unprecedented pressure on its neighbors in the (ASEAN). It is important to note that Min Aung praised as an “eternal friend” during a visit to Beijing in 2019. He thanked for its
The senior general has turned on Beijing at a sensitive time. detainment of Uighur Muslims in the region and for its aggression toward its neighbors. Yet it could be seen as part of a longer pattern in .is facing international criticism for the spread of the COVID-19 disease, its
Turning Away from China Not Easy
More than 10 years ago, the then-ruling military junta decided to reduce’s economic dependence on . At the heart of this decision was the goal of reducing ’s excessive influence in .
When retiredwas president from 2010 to 2015, he ushered in initiatives to repair relations with , the West and . At first, these initiatives led to increased international aid, but it was short-lived due to the military crackdown on the insurgency in the state. has faced international condemnation, isolation and sanctions since. By 2017, the brief “honeymoon” was over and was back to its old games, with the West losing its window of opportunity in .
Asia Times, the “ ’s relationship with is a pillar of its autonomy.” uses the to exert leverage within . It also benefits economically because minerals from the Wa area are exported across the border to .has been known to support the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The UWSA is an armed force of an ethnic minority that runs an autonomous region with little interference from central authorities. As per the
Theis one of the many insurance policies Beijing uses to retain its eminence in . Today, it has cultivated the ruling ( ) led by Aung San , a Nobel laureate who was once the darling of the West. She wants to reverse ’s decision in 2011 to suspend work on the Myitsone dam. Beijing’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) was supposed to build this $3.6-billion dam at the source of the .
The Myitsone area is said to be the birthplace of the Kachin people, after whom the state is named. They have fought the BBC reports, “needs to establish prosperity and peace if she is to convince the Burmese people of the benefits of democracy.” The dam might provide irrigation and electricity, boosting the ruling .since 1962, making itis one of the longest civil wars for a resource-rich region. The Kachin oppose the dam because it could put large parts of their region under water and threaten their livelihoods. As the
turning to because the West has abandoned her. The days when former US President Barack Obama visited and kissed her cheek seem distant. The crisis has been roundly criticized by Western media and brought allegations of genocide.is
Belt and Road Initiative. It includes infrastructure such as railways and a deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu on the Bay of Bengal. This port will help avoid the more vulnerable Straits of Malacca, where it fears being choked off.President has stepped into the vacuum and visited earlier this year. has been planning the – Economic Corridor (CEMC) as part of its
The West Must Change Tack with Myanmar
Since 1990, Western powers have imposed sanctions onfor a variety of reasons ranging from human rights violations to lack of democracy. At the same time, they rushed to engage with despite the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. became an outcast even as won investments, joint ventures and a red carpet welcome to the World Trade Organization.
Unlike, which has had no election for 75 years, has held three major elections in 1990, 2010 and 2015. A fourth is due in October this year. ’s NLD has won the past three elections.
When it comes to the treatment of minorities, whom are now sheltering in Bangladesh — is deeply ironic. is supporting the Army and the Salvation Army to destabilize and win their support in the future. This policy of interference in has implications for both and Bangladesh. It is in keeping with the policy of destabilizing ’s northeast region.has been worse than . Its treatment of Tibetans has been terrible and its persecution of Uighurs makes daily headlines. Therefore, Min Aung Hlaing’s revelation that is championing the — a majority of
’s strategy of destabilizing even as it makes it an economic vassal has lessons for others. Western powers must provide with much-needed investment. The Tatmadaw, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, clearly wants to avoid Chinese domination. Suu Kyi is also no natural ally of . They have both been pushed into Chinese arms by Western intransigence. Along with investments, a security arrangement involving many countries such as , Bangladesh and Western powers would help.
Currently, the Quad) is the best vehicle to guarantee ’s security. It must thwart the development of CMEC. Otherwise, the Chinese navy will be sitting on ’s doorstep and the Quad would lose strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean. has already been strengthening its relationship with under its “Look East” or “Act East” policy. The relationship has been on the upswing since 2010 and is set to improve further.(or the
Yangon is sensitive to’s strategic and security concerns. has shown the same degree of understanding. For , is the archway to and the far east. With the Chinese causing mischief at its borders, has increasing strategic importance for .
The West must joinin its constructive engagement with . In the October elections, Aung San ’s is expected to win again. This victory could usher in an era of stability, economic progress and development. Myanmar’s civil and military leadership has no desire to embrace vassal status. It is up to the West to step up and give Myanmar a choice. With the Chinese menace rising by the day, failure to do so would be a historic blunder.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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