September 27, 2007

China's official response

One of the reasons China is finding it extremely difficult to issue an official statement on the current events in Burma owes to China’s own unfortunate history with peaceful demonstrations and mismanagement of such crises. Words are difficult for official Beijing right now. People who find themselves advising others on courses of action usually lead by example. China’s example in 1989 should not be followed or repeated. If China were to officially state its position as against military actions and brutality, it would somewhat clash with what it preached, exercised and never apologised for. Moreover, China craves stability. Feeling like a big brother in the region, it hates little headaches and particularly changes in the structure of the otherwise familiar region. What would happen to the trade that was going so well between Chinese businesses and the Burmese forests? How would China tackle the change? What if Burma was to succeed in establishing a democratic society? Does that mean it’ll get under the umbrella of the West and review its relations with China? Will China lose its control over Burma? Will this finally tip off the balance of powers in the Asia-Pacific? All these questions have to be answered before an official statement can be issued. Of course, China’s statement is unlikely to decide the future of Burma, but there’s a procedure to follow and right now the world is waiting for an statement to come out of China.

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