Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Free Burma!

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, October 4, 2007

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www.free-burma.org

The primary obstacle making United Nations’ efforts on Burma difficult is one country: China. China has repeatedly undermined the UN Secretary General, the UN system, and ASEAN by refusing to back the call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma. China has also refused to call for peaceful tripartite dialogue in Burma, again undermining UN efforts.

Economically, China is exploiting the situation by signing deals left and right that essentially steal the natural resources of Burma out from under the Burmese people. According to the Shwe Gas Movement, China’s new gas deal with the military regime is worth a staggering $40 billion dollars.

Militarily, China has sold billions in arms to Burma’s military regime. These sales include tanks and armoured personnel carriers, jet attack aircraft, small arms and light weapons, logistical and transportation equipment, and coastal patrol ships. These arms sales continue to this day.

Diplomatically, China is undermining diplomatic efforts by ASEAN and the United Nations. Three diplomatic missions to Burma to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi (by leading Southeast Asian senior statesmen Indonesian Ali Alatas, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid, and Filippino Foreign Minister Alberto Romulo) all failed, mainly because China did not endorse these efforts. China went even further to protect the Burmese military regime by vetoing the one and only United Nations Security Council resolution on Burma. The resolution would have given the UN Secretary General the power that he needs to effectively negotiate with the military regime in Burma. China completely blocked it.

In addition to China’s neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, the United States, Japan, Australia, 14 United Nations Special Rapporteurs, One Dozen Nobel Peace Prize recipients, and 59 former Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world have called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

It’s time for all of us to say “enough is enough”. The simple and undeniable fact is that if China tells the Burmese military regime it must participate in negotiations – as the UN has repeatedly called for – the regime will have no choice but to say yes. China does have the leverage – they just haven’t used it at all.

If this were a simple matter of negotiating or not, China’s position would be understandable. But the situation in Burma is much much different and extremely grave. The military regime has destroyed 3,000 villages in eastern Burma (twice as many as in Darfur, Sudan) and continues its scorched earth campaign to this day. Mothers, children, and innocent civilians are being slaughtered or forced from their homes. The regime has recruited more child soldiers than any other country in the world. The regime’s soldiers are raping innocent women as a war tactic. Over 1,200 political prisoners remain behind bars. Just as the UN was paralysed and acted far too late on Rwanda, Sudan, and elsewhere, now China is paralysing the UN into action on Burma.

Free Burma Action Centre

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