National elections in Myanmar next November. China has openly sided with Aung San Suu Kyi in the election. Incumbent Suu Kyi’s government will protect China’s interests rather than the military in Myanmar.
The military has been in power in Myanmar for decades with Chinese support. But the Myanmar army is currently taking a direct stand against China on various issues. As a result, China is angry with the Myanmar army. On the other hand, China, which was once against Aung San Suu Kyi, has now chosen her. Suu Kyi has sought refuge in China to stay in power.
In January 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar. It was China’s strong support for Suu Kyi. On the other hand, the Myanmar army has adopted some policies that go against China. Not only that, but China has joined hands against the enemy. For the past few years, the Myanmar army has been trying to pull Myanmar out of the Chinese belt. They have also moved a little towards India. Such a policy has angered China. However, many analysts believe that China has many ways to control Myanmar.
The international community’s concern surrounding the election is the direction the Myanmar government’s foreign policy will take after the election. After the election, Myanmar is trying to get closer to China by adopting an independent policy.
For decades, the Chinese government has been unwavering support for Myanmar’s military junta, with almost all kinds of aid and cooperation. In contrast, Beijing had deep suspicions about Aung San Suu Kyi. But this policy is changing.
China has openly sided with Suu Kyi over the upcoming national elections. China wants Suu Kyi and her party to win the next election, the National League for Democracy. In the 2015 election, Suu Kyi’s party lost to the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. The army-backed party could face the same fate in next November’s elections.
The Myanmar army is currently seeking to consolidate military interests in the name of defending sovereignty. On the other hand, Suu Kyi has adopted a pro-China policy to move the country forward economically. In addition, Suu Kyi has lost the blessings of the West due to her strong position and support for the Rohingya genocide. As a result, he has no choice but to take refuge in China to stay in power.
From the beginning of August 2016, the Myanmar army started genocide against the Rohingyas. More than one million Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh to escape the genocide. A number of Myanmar soldiers have now fled to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and have confessed to carrying out the genocide.
In a confession, they said the Myanmar army had instructed that during the operation, Rohingya women, men, the elderly, children, whoever could be found in front of them should be killed, women should be raped and everything, including houses, should be set on fire. And they did.
The so-called champion of human rights, the so-called symbol of democracy, Suu Kyi, has not only refused to condemn the genocide, but has taken a stand for it. The Myanmar army has spoken in the Hague court on behalf of the case. As a result, Suu Kyi became an overnight villain.
China has played a silent role in the genocide of Myanmar’s military and local Buddhists. China has been openly supporting Suu Kyi in the West at a time when she is being sharply criticized.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar in January 2020. The duration of Xi Jinping’s visit was also significant. In December 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi traveled to The Hague to testify on behalf of the Myanmar Army. Suu Kyi’s arrival and speech at the Hague tribunal have drawn sharp criticism from the West. Then, on January 23, 2020, the Hague court ruled against Myanmar. Exactly one week before the verdict, Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Myanmar on January 17 for a two-day visit.
Like China, Japan is silent on Myanmar’s military and Suu Kyi. On August 21-24, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshi Mitsu visited Myanmar.
The Japanese Foreign Minister visited Myanmar in the wake of the Corona disaster to address Chinese influence in Myanmar. During the visit, he met with Suu Kyi and Myanmar Army Chief Min Aung Laing. A strange thing came up in the Japanese Foreign Ministry statement after the visit. It said Japanese Foreign Minister Toshi Mitsu and Myanmar’s military discussed major regional issues, such as the South China Sea.
Almost all the countries in the region, including the United States and India, are currently in dispute with China over the South China Sea. Japan is also in the anti-China zone. In this situation, curiosity has arisen about Japan’s talks with Myanmar on the South China Sea.
Myanmar’s military chief’s talks with Japan over the South China Sea have further angered China. Under no circumstances will China accept this policy of the Myanmar army with Japan over the South China Sea.
On the other hand, the statement made by Myanmar’s army chief Min Aung Lai during his visit to Moscow in June shocked everyone. Min Aung Laing told a news outlet in Russia that there were terrorist groups in Myanmar. This is because they have the support of a large force behind them. By big power, Min Aung Laing clearly meant China.
China has been accused of providing arms to rebels in various states, including Shan State in Myanmar.
Thus, the Myanmar army has now taken a direct anti-China stance. Which has angered Beijing immensely. In addition, the Myanmar army has handed over to India some Indian separatist leaders stationed in Myanmar.
Japan is trying to help bring peace to Myanmar by ending the insurgency in various states.
China can easily reach the Indian Ocean via Myanmar. The easy way. Through the Indian Ocean over Myanmar, China can easily transport goods to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Now what is going on is the South China Sea and the narrow Malacca Strait. Tensions are running high among major powers over control of the South China Sea. India, on the other hand, controls the western end of the Malacca Strait. In this situation, Chinese alternative trade routes are entering the Indian Ocean through Myanmar and the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. As a result, China will not care about anything in its fight for supremacy over Myanmar.
Myanmar’s military has long been in power under the Chinese umbrella. Now China is trying to move away from excess influence. In this context, it is not uncommon for China to choose Suu Kyi as part of consolidating its dominance over Myanmar. Myanmar’s military, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Suu Kyi, no matter how stubborn it is against China.
The reality is that China’s influence in Myanmar’s internal politics, military and various levels of society is so great that there is little to be done by the military or anything else against whomever the country favors. Because China has a lot of cards in its hands to subdue or support whoever comes to power in Myanmar.
Myanmar’s economy is heavily dependent on China. Almost all major infrastructure in the country is dependent on Chinese investment. Myanmar and Rakhine are surrounded by China’s far-reaching multi-billion dollar economic infrastructure plan. Many of which are currently under implementation. On the other hand, China also knows how to destabilize Myanmar with rebel forces in various states.
During his visit in January 2020, Xi Ping signed 33 memoranda of understanding with Myanmar. Of these, 13 are infrastructure-centric. Many Western countries are in a difficult position in their relations with Myanmar over the Rohingya issue. Japan is trying to develop relations with Myanmar. Countries that are trying to take various initiatives, including Japan, to quell the insurgency in Myanmar against China will not be of much use. For now, the last word on Myanmar is China.