Naypyidaw: China is using the diplomatic isolation of Myanmar post the military coup of February 2021, eyeing the rich natural resources of the country, Mizzima News, a Burmese multimedia news organisation reported.
China stepped into Myanmar after the military coup led to a political and economic crisis in Myanmar along with poverty and high rates of unemployment.
The Myanmar generals have bartered natural resources, including gas, timber, jade and copper, with China for its diplomatic support and investments. Consequently, China obtained massive gas fields and land for the Kyaukphyu port and the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rakhine State for free, according to Mizzima News.
According to Mizzima News, the dragon, the apostle of development, chooses to take underdeveloped nations for a ride and later arm-twists them into making diplomatic and economic concessions. In the case of Myanmar, its much-touted “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” translates into actuality as “Capitalism with socialist characteristics” wherein maximisation of profit displays a reckless disregard for humanity at large.
China in Myanmar continues with its mal intentions by promoting the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) through Myanmar to help assert economic and military domination in the Indian Ocean. As only it can give China access to both the Indian and Pacific oceans at the same to fulfil the perceived encirclement of its borders, according to Mizzima News.
Adding to this the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) has gripped Myanmar. Under the project a transport corridor comprising roads, railroads and special economic zones from Kunming in China’s Yunnan province to Myanmar’s west coast. It includes a deep-sea port as part of the BRI in Kyaukphyu, to which the junta is extending much-needed assistance.
China has recently been able to establish a shipping route which links the new Beibu Gulf Port in Guangxi Province in the South China Sea to Yangon. Along with this China is also stressing on development of industrial zone on the border of Shan state and Kachin state. And this route stands vital as the route is the only way to 80 per cent of oil and gas imports in the country and can play a vital role in the development of the Chinese Navy in the area.
The media of China however is ready to cover everything up. According to Mizzima News Xinhua, China’s official news agency, was quick to clear the decks for legitimising Myanmar’s authoritarian regime by branding the coup as a “Cabinet reshuffle”, even as the military junta was globally put in the dock.