China boosts ties with Myanmar junta despite international condemnation

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Beijing has strengthened ties with Myanmar’s military leaders despite a series of violent attacks on Chinese business interests in the country following the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ian Sun, a Myanmar-China liaison officer with the US Research Center’s Stimson Center, said Beijing had already made a “fundamental assessment” that Myanmar was moving to another long period of military rule.

“I think the Chinese can see that this military coup is successful, it will stay here,” he added.

The resumption of state-level involvement և economic activity signals that Myanmar is returning to its traditional economic pillar On China. The country has used its larger neighbor as a buffer against international sanctions, distortion by foreign investors who have announced they are leaving the country, or rack designs,

The junta has killed 875 people and arrested 6,242 since the coup, according to the Burma Prisoners’ Support Association. It was the country’s economy and public services severely damaged During the three months of mass protests that followed the putsch, they were only partially restored.

The resumption of bilateral trade will raise suspicions among Chinese resistance groups that China is ready to support a new military regime.

According to China’s official customs data, the cumulative value of China’s imports from Myanmar in the first five months of the year was $ 3.38 billion, from $ 2.43 billion in 2020 to $ 2.56 billion in 2019.

However, Myanmar exports did not recover as much during the same period. At the end of May, $ 4.28 billion worth of goods were shipped to Myanmar, up from $ 4.56 billion և 4.79 billion in the previous two years.

As a sign of strengthening diplomatic relations, Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai met with coup leader and Supreme Military Commander Min Aung Hleing in the capital, Naypyidad, in June. In a subsequent statement, Chen mentioned Min Aung Hleing as Myanmar’s leader.

China abstained from voting in the UN General Assembly last week, calling on the international community to: stop the flow of weapons Myanmar ակել Release Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Beijing has had good relations with the government of the ousted incumbent faces numerous criminal chargesHowever, it refrains from criticizing the military for angering the mass protest movement that erupted after the coup.

In addition to being Myanmar’s largest trading partner, China also has strategic infrastructure investments including the energy pipelines that connect Beijing with the Indian Ocean.

Singap Ames Char, a one-time expert at S Rajaratnam International Research School in Singapore, said many people in Myanmar still blame the Chinese government’s business interests for complicity in backing decades of military rule before the transition to democracy.

“The Chinese themselves know this very well [public sentiment in Myanmar]Said the Evil One.

Attacks on China-related businesses The aftermath of the June 11 bombing of a Chinese-backed textile factory west of Yangon, according to local Myanmar media outlets, as well as state-controlled intelligence services and state-run Chinese media.

Analysts say Beijing’s willingness to inflame protesters in Myanmar is likely to slow Chinese direct investment and the resumption of planned larger-scale developments that led to President Xi Jinping’s Zone Road initiative.

Additional report by Sherry Fei Ju in Beijing

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