Saturday, 27 September 2008

Junta's secret plan: Closer relationship with China

By Zarni
27 September 2008

Chiang Mai (Mizzima)- The secretly distributed minutes of a meeting chaired by the Burmese Ministry of Home Affairs indicate that the Burmese junta, which has ruled the country for over four decades, will seek a closer relationship with China in the face of growing, U.S.-led, international pressure.

The minutes of the meeting, dated July 6, 2008, state that in order to defend the country against U.S. influence, Burma cannot stand alone without any alliances and, therefore, needs the backing of China and other like-minded countries.

The minutes, a copy of which is in Mizzima's possession, say the junta's policy of stepping up relations with China is in both countries' favor and is not to the junta's benefit alone.

With the U.S. vigorously implementing its "China Containment Policy", the minutes say Burma is one of only a few neighboring countries of China that can still fend off U.S. influence.

The minutes list India, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Korea and Mongolia, as well as others, as neighbors of China that are fully or partially influenced by the U.S., leaving Burma and a few other countries such as North Korea free of the Western influence.

"For this purpose, the gas pipeline has been built and Kyaukthu Port has been developed, so that China can get direct access to the sea from Burma," the Home Minister was quoted as saying in the minutes.

China, a veto wielding country in the U.N. Security Council, has openly defended Burma in the U.N. as well as in other international arenas. In January 2007, China along with Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Burma that urged the release of detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and an improvement in the country's human rights situation.

The minutes also depict the U.S. as failing to influence many nations, including Burma, through its economic, diplomatic, human rights and democracy stance, requiring Washington to turn to the U.N. to further its influence.

The minutes, which apparently accuse the U.S. of masterminding the various resolutions passed by the U.N. against Burma, say the U.S. is seeking to exploit the various councils of the world body, including the Human Rights Council and the International Labor Organization.

Interestingly, the minutes add that with the continuous pressure of the world body and international community, the junta can no longer turn a deaf ear to the outside world but is instead forced to implement at least some changes.

However, the document states that despite growing international community demands, the government will not alter its policy regarding its roadmap to democracy.

But, in the case of renewed anti-government movements and riots, the minutes iterate that such occurrences will be handled by the police and not the army, in an effort to mitigate international criticism.

The minutes determine that while there is no need to worry about growing external pressure, it is important that members of the Ministry work hard and prove themselves excellent in their respective works.

Leaked Document

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