Another theory is circulating in the protest movement: According to it, Chinese technicians were brought into the country on the planes to help the military build a “Great Firewall” based on the Chinese model and to cut off Myanmar from the free Internet.
“I don’t trust China at all”
“I don’t trust China at all,” says the young MP Sithu Maung, who would have taken office on February 1 if the coup hadn’t come up. “China has never been a good friend of democracy in Myanmar.”
The situation is not clear. Even if China’s state news agency “Xinhua” initially glossed over the coup as a “cabinet reshuffle,” the leadership has so far been officially waiting to be cautious. China has rejected the allegation that it was informed in advance of the military strike. In the UN Security Council, the People’s Republic supported a resolution expressing “deep concern” about the situation and calling for the release of the de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. In the past, Beijing had often shielded Myanmar from criticism in the body.
It would be premature to assume that the Chinese leadership would generally prefer Myanmar’s generals to a democratic government under Suu Kyi. Beijing maintained an adequate relationship with her: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited State Councilor Suu Kyi in mid-January and promised 300,000 doses of a Chinese vaccine before he met Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing. During his last state visit to Myanmar in early 2020, Xi and Suu Kyi agreed on 33 projects as part of the Chinese Silk Road Initiative.
China wants stability – and good business
The generals also initiated the opening of the country in 2010 because they wanted to gain more freedom of movement in foreign policy. As one of his first acts after the resignation of the junta in 2011, the then President
The in Sein, an ex-general, stopped a Chinese dam project in northern Myanmar.
The People’s Republic of Mao Zedong had previously called on ethnic Chinese in Myanmar to support the Cultural Revolution.
The ir share of the population is particularly high in the second largest city, Mandalay. Thousands of people gathered to protest in front of the People’s Republic consulate there this week.
Many people of Chinese origin have also taken to the streets there – and have made it clear who their loyalty belongs to. “Chinese from Mandalay, citizens of Myanmar” read a banner. Others held up posters that read “Free our leaders.” Next to the slogan was a picture of Suu Kyi.
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Chinas Myanmar Dilemma Peoples Republic Generals