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  • Writer's pictureMyat Tun Oo

What should China do to help Myanmar(Burma)?

Myanmar is heading toward first general election in 8th November 2020 under the democratic government since 1962. There were few elections in the past but those were under the military junta. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is going to win with a big margin due to her handling of COVID pandemic and also her courage to stand up for her country at the ICJ(Internaltional Court of Justice). At the same time, the military and its allied parties know that they are going to lose the election. The question is by how many votes. They are trying all tricks to undermine the election including “No Vote” campaign and also hoping for a coalition government in the best case scenario.

There was an initial argument made by the military sympathisers saying that Suu Kyi is not leading the country properly and economy is in downfall. This argument started to crack when she went out to face the allegations against her country at the ICJ. She made the balance and reasonable argument by saying that the military might commit some war crimes and the government is prepared to punish those who were responsible for war crimes. However, COVID changed everything and Suu Kyi came up online on Facebook and started chatting with people. People can see her discussions on various topics and also her leadership skill and her leadership style as well. In addition, Burma is sandwiched between China and India. Although COVID started in China, China managed to control well. But India still gets high rate of infection. At that time, all experts are saying that Burma will be overwhelmed with the infection if COVID is crossed the border because of poor healthcare system, poverty and civil war. Suu Kyi proved that these experts were wrong by managing the pandemic very well. She managed to track and trace and her handling of COVID crisis is better than well resources countries like UK and US. As a result of her using social media and good handling of COVID, her popularity rating is sky high for an incumbent government. That makes the military leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing who wants to become President via the election becomes nervous and worry.

Therefore, he met with 34 parties which are allied to the military. During the meeting, they asked him to intervene if he thinks the election is rigged. He told some party leaders that he is not afraid of anything to do, that means threatening to stage a coup but he is considering the consequences. There is no military chief in PLA (People’s Libration Army) will dare to talk to the opposition parties in China like this. Under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma is neutral in all crisis between US and China. Although China might have some doubt about Suu Kyi, she is proven herself as a pragmatic person and strived for a better tie and relationship between the two neighbours. She won’t allow any foreign troops in Burma and Burma will lead non align movement.

However, this can change if Senior General Min Aung Hlaing try to stage a coup against her. Burma will have no choice but to call for foreign intervention if the military stages a coup. That will mean involvement of US and western military. The military can arrest Suu Kyi and her President but her regional chief ministers will ask foreign power for help in that scenario. China will know well from Syria conflict that UNSC(UN Security Council) approval is not needed. This time the coup will be bloody and will end up like Syria. I don’t think that will be in the interest of China to have a failed state in its doorstep and US troops are in Yangon.

How can China help? All Myanmar Senior military leaders have their bank account in China and Hong Kong. China should give strong warning to the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing the consequences of his action. China should express its strong wish to support the people of Burma and give the warning it may come in to help Aung San Suu Kyi if there is a coup without waiting any help from US. This sort of strong message from China will make them blink and think twice before he makes any silly decision and miscalculation.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar want to be forever friend with China and China needs to help us by warning the junta.

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Aug 17, 2020


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