China’s role in Myanmar ‘less than altruistic’: Fortify Rights


Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers patrol in Beijing, China. November 7, 2014. Photo: Narendra Shrestha/EPA

China’s stance as a benevolent mediator in Myanmar’s many internal conflicts and its treatment of asylum seekers is far less altruistic than Beijing cares to admit, according to Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, writing in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

China has publicly distanced itself from the Kokang conflict and maintained neutrality. But Chinese-led development projects have long stoked the ethnic tensions and military conflicts in Myanmar, particularly in recent years, writes Mr Smith.

Beijing’s business interests in northern Myanmar, particularly in Kachin-dominant areas, have directly contributed to war and a cascade of abuse. The Myanmar Army and its businesses have been all too willing to cooperate, he says.

This op-ed is available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/05/opinion/how-china-fuels-myanmars-wars.html

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