From The Washington Post:
In the early hours of June 4, 1989, I was on Chang’an Street, just west of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, when I saw Chinese soldiers open fire and kill many of my fellow protesters. I barely escaped the same fate. The horror of that day is seared in my mind like it was yesterday.
In recent days, my memories of Tiananmen have come rushing back as I have watched the mass demonstrations in Burma and the junta’s bloody crackdown. After decades of military dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of the people of Burma — a diverse outpouring of Buddhist monks, democracy activists and ordinary civilians — are standing up to confront the country’s brutal regime. [Full Text]
Yang Jianli (Êù®Âª∫Âà©) is president of the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. Read also the following essay by Steve Tsang (ÊõæÈîêÁîü) on Burma’s threat to China’s “peaceful rise,” from Project Syndicate:
Myanmar’s peaceful protests are nearing their tipping point, with the military junta weighing the potential costs of a full military crackdown. But Myanmar’s generals will have little incentive to opt for an alternative to bloodshed and repression if China continues to provide them with support and protection against sanctions at the UN Security Council.
China has more influence over Myanmar’s ruling generals than any other country. Indeed, without Chinese support, it is debatable whether the Burmese regime could sustain itself. So, while the current crisis in Myanmar is not of China’s making, a peaceful settlement may only be possible if China acts to support it.
China is thus facing an unwanted test of its claim to be a responsible stakeholder in the international community. China has held its tongue on Myanmar, sticking to its policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of any nation. But that policy may no longer be tenable. [Full Text]
Steve Tsang (ÊõæÈîêÁîü) is a fellow of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.