My Oh My Oh Myanmar...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Rocketeer, Sep 28, 2007.

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  1. well.. the sh!t has begun.. we saw it in Rwanda, then in Darfur and Somalia and ..well you name it.. the Nutjob fanatic Regime meisters desperately trying to hold onto power by slaughtering thousands of their own citizens and the ' world' tsk tsking, sending nasty letters, calling in ambassadors and talking sternly to them and passing watered down ' memos' at the Un that are blocked by the regims' ' allies/sponsors/puppetmasters ' [ in this case China with help from Russia ]..
    so, what will it take.. how many monks slaughtered, kids killed and women and children raped before they step in and freeze the foreign bank accounts of the Junta??

    Only China can stop the Generals' , of course, unless ' we invade ' so don't hold your breath..

    " China has blood on its hands. When troops opened fire on unarmed protesters yesterday, it's a good bet they were firing Chinese bullets from Chinese guns. China is not only the military regime's main arms supplier, it is Myanmar's biggest trading partner and most powerful friend.
    The Chinese alone have the leverage over Myanmar's generals to stop what is threatening to become an all-out massacre. By failing to use it, they are facilitating a human rights crime. Unless they act now, the stain on their reputation will be indelible.
    What are China's leaders thinking? Do they expect the world to forget about Myanmar and cheer China's success at the Olympics next year? How can they expect to be taken seriously when they say China's ' peacful rise' poses no threat to the wider world?
    Tell that to the people of Myanmar. They have China to thank for the survival of the gangster regime that keeps them in poverty and terror. China's economic support and diplomatic protection have shielded Myanmar's generals from the disapproval of the democratic world. With Chinese trade pouring over their northern and eastern borders, with Chinese harvesting their timber and buying their oil and gas, with Chinese trucks and mortars arming their soldiers, Myanmar's generals can shrug off the West's finger-waving and sail through economic sanctions.
    Last January, China showed its colours when it joined Russia to veto a UN Security Council Resolution that called on Myanmar to cease its persecution of minorities and opposition groups. this week, at the Security Council, it ruled out UN sanctions or any denunciations of the regime's use of force, agreeing only to a statement expressing concern.
    As unarmed monks are beaten and shot, as nation after nation protests against the regime's brutality, the most that Beijing can bring itself to say is ' China hopes that all parties in Myanmar exercise restraint ' so ' the situation there does not escalate and get complicated '. Its a little late for that. the ' situation ' has escalated precisely because Myanmar's generals think China's support will shield them from the wrath of the world. To call on ' all parties' to restrain themselves is to equate the monks who march peacefully through the streets with the soldiers who beat and shoot them. even Chiona's leaders cannot be so blind.
    It won't do for Beijing to hide behind the principle of non-interference in the affiars of others, a formula China intones like a sacred chant. Beijing has been deeply involved in its neighbour's affairs for many years., financing road and bridge projects and providing for the regime's security. Once a vassel state of China, Myanmar relies heavily on its giant neighbour.
    That gives China pull. what is needed from Beijing - and it could still make a difference even now -is a stern warning that the regime risks losing Chinese sponsorship if it puts down the monks' uprising with force. Think of the credit Beijing could earn in the world if it reined in its client and prevented a bloodbath. Think of the odium that will adhere to China if it continues to stand by as the bullets fly and bodies fall.
    realists will say it's naive to ask China's leaders to interfere for democracy in Myanmar. If the authors of Tiananmen Square tell another country's government that it can't crack down violently on democracy protests, what does that say to those in China who yearn for political freedom?
    then there's the question of interests. Myanmar is not only rich in resources that China needs, it is strategically important for Beijing. Chinese trade can reach the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. China's big power rivals, India and russia are also vying for influence there.
    But there is more to being a great power in the modern world than securing resources and fending off rivals. reputation matters, too. Washington learned that to its peril when its influence and reputation waned after its invasion of Iraq. More than China's interests are at stake in Myanmar, something invaluable; a good name.
    When he was US President, Bill Clinton said the shape of the world for the nest 50 years would depend on howChina defined its own greatness. Will a booming China use its growing power purely to foster its own selfish interests regardless of the effect on others? Or will it work for progress and stability in an interconnected world? Inshort, will it be a force for good or evil?
    In Myanmar, we may be learning the answer " - Marcus Gee

    but don't hold your breath...
     
  2. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it would be naive to expect China's leaders to help the pro democracy movement in Burma.
    Not only would they lose influence and perhaps important SIGNIT sites, they also fear such a movement might spead across the border. They care more about retaining their own power than "world opinion", and quite willingly use exactly the same methods of repression against their own population on a regular basis.
    China could be a force for good in the world, but not I fear under the present regime. However, who knows, the pro democracy movement in Poland acted as a catalyst which brought about the downfall of the Soviet Union. Maybe something similar might happen here.
     
  3. It's indeed stupid to think that China would help democracy when they're everything but democratic, but it's even more stupid how India, who are always bragging on about being the worlds largest Democracy is just sitting there and watching it happen. Whilst they're also a major player in that region

    What's going on? Times have changed, I'm sure India are big enough to intervene in these days. But I'm guessing it also falls back down to the fact that they're also rosy with the current Junta.

    So what's worse, the guy that you know is evil and therefore won't help, or the guy you thought was good, but is just sitting there letting it go on.

    Or, there are no good guys. I think I'll stick with that one.
     
  4. But China is now withdrawing support from Zimbabwe...got to be a good thing surely? We continue to give aid...wrong ain't it?

    The problem with international politics/relations is that nations do not do what is right...simple really.
     
  5. China have strategic interests in Burma (resources and friendly port facilities) and this makes them more interested in stability than anything else. They'd prefer the old regime to stay in power if possible, but I doubt they'll hesitate to do business with any other faction that can keep the oil flowing. The moment the Burmese Junta look shaky, their support from the East will evaporate.

    Also, there's still quite a lot of strategic rivalry with India and the Indian government has been making life difficult for Chinese businessmen and investors lately. I doubt they'll make any such overt move, but it would be a satisfying bitch-slap for Beijing to deliver if they cut India out by supporting the reformists.