April 13, 2021
Opinions and Commentary

Burma Crisis: China and India Need to Do More

The International Community including United Nations, United States, European Union, and many other countries have expressed their serious concern condemning the recent truculent killings committed by the Burmese military regime. China and India, most influential powers to neighboring regime, were compelled to join the international voices in order to avoid culminated against its silence by the world as the monks led demonstration in Burma escalated into violence. They need to do more for democracy in Burma.

In latest statement, China has once again reaffirmed the world body that it has consistently upheld a policy of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. The Chinese foreign ministry said it hope to see “stability and economic development” in Burma. It however opposes any sanctions against its neighbor saying “not helpful”.

By seeing such statements, one can see China ’s stance on Burma issue more visibly however yet to be tested. China somehow need ‘stability’ in Burma in order to maintain their economic and diplomatic ties with Burma so that it can continue to impoverish sixty millions people while irresponsibly viewing neighbor’s crisis as purely internal matter. So far it has chosen to embrace with such economy ego while turning its back on the democratic value and the plight of the Burmese people. Indeed, what it reveals is its desperate to get continue access to neighbor’s giant off-shore gas blocks, and to its natural resources—timber and minerals. China should be told that there is a greater price when she helps Change in Burma .

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs at last said that “ India has always believed that Myanmar ‘s process of political reform and national reconciliation should be more inclusive and broad-based”. This statement came after strong criticisms from international communities and exile activists following its silence over Burma turmoil as India ‘s Petroleum Minister, Murli Deora signed the Oil business agreement with the Naypindaw amidst political unrest in the country. India is more likely to fully support UN mission in Burma as long as it believes China will do the same.

The South East Asian Nations, who traditionally upheld the policy of non-interference on Burma , have in recent days reiterated that regime’s actions as a loathsome and embarrassing. They expressed revulsion on its own member recent brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors resulted in many deaths.

Japan said it will review its aid program to the poor Burma after a Japanese news reporter was shot to death at the Rangoon demonstration by a Burmese soldier armed with an automatic rifle.

A UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Naypindaw for talk with the junta leaders following the UNSC emergency meeting.

The time has come for China and India to fully cooperate with the UN efforts to help change in Burma. They should be now prepared to support any possible UNSC sanctions against the regime as a further step of its efforts.

China and India have a golden opportunity in this crucial time to show that they truly want national reconciliation in Burma. If they do miss this chance, double standard policies toward Burma will be going forever static and incisive which indeed will be an egregious mistake and a mere mercenary.

But one thing these neighbors should be told about is that the temerity of the Burmese regime’s intransigent will only bring trouble into the whole region in the long term, but dissolutely economy prospect of wealth will gradually be abjured. Their positive contribution to change in Burma is yet to be seen.

By Salai Laini
September 30, 2007

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