China seems to be changing tack on the Burma issue and has joined the rest of the UNSC in issuing a statement criticizing the junta for the recent crackdown on peaceful protests. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
The statement urged the military regime that has ruled Burma for 45 years to free all political prisoners and arrested protesters and prepare for a “genuine dialogue” with the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
It was not binding but, because it required the consent of all 15 council members (unlike a resolution), it left the Burmese Government isolated, Western diplomats said on Thursday.
It was the first time the council had taken official action on Burma and marked a shift of position by China, Burma’s neighbour and key trading partner, which previously used its veto to prevent criticism of the country’s authorities. [Full text]
For more about the situation in Burma and China’s response, listen to CDT’s podcast interview with a Burmese reporter