On China’s role in the unfolding civil crisis in Burma, why has Beijing long been the junta‘s main guardian, ready to resist any attempt to subject it to scrutiny? From The Guardian:
China has expanded into key Burmese sectors such as natural gas, hydropower, minerals, wood, fisheries and farm produce as well as illicit narcotics, gems and gambling. Chinese goods are flooding Burmese markets. Parts of northern and north-eastern Burma have become Chinese settlements.
With natural gas reserves of 2.48 trillion cubic metres (1.4% of the world supply) and little capital or infrastructure to exploit it, Burma is at the centre of fierce competition between China and India to develop production and supply their home markets. [Full Text]
As an editorial in the Washington Post shows, China’s response in Burma is, like Darfur, quickly becoming an issue for those condemning Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics:
China’s behavior is nevertheless a pathetically puny response to savage brutality by one of the world’s most corrupt and illegitimate governments. Burma’s generals might not take orders from Beijing. But the failure of President Hu Jintao’s leadership to forthrightly condemn the repression has had the effect of giving the junta a green light. Burma’s saffron-robed monks will join Darfur’s refugees in haunting the Beijing Olympics — which are on their way to becoming a monument to an emerging superpower’s immorality. [Full text]
[Image source: SFgate.com]