Ethnic political parties harbour concerns over China’s role

23 January 2020
Ethnic political parties harbour concerns over China’s role
The Union Election Commission held a coordination meeting with political parties with the aim to successfully organize the 2020 General Election, at the UEC Office in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

Some of Myanmar’s ethnic political parties on Wednesday expressed concern over potential negative impacts of China’s planned multibillion-dollar mega-projects in their regions, days after the two countries’ leaders signed more than 30 memorandums of understanding regarding the deals, RFA reported.

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed 33 MoUs for Chinese-backed projects in the Southeast Asia country, many of which fall under the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), on Jan. 18, the second day of the Xi’s two-day state visit to Myanmar.

Many ethnic minority groups and their respective political parties harbour deep suspicions over Beijing’s growing influence in Myanmar, believing that they will not see any benefits from the BRI and other China-backed projects and that China will continue to have ties to rebel armies fighting government forces in border areas, the report said.