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Open Advice to China: Why Dictators Need To Back Up Each Other?

By Jonathan Thang

A lesson not to be forgotten!

Dictators need to support each other for their survival has been seen throughout history. Thanks to China not supporting Min Aung Hlaing led the military-terrorist group at UN General Assembly. The role of China is not neglectable in the affairs of ASEAN countries and even on the World stage. Therefore, all ASEAN countries need to approach China carefully and correctly by doing unprovocatively in any effort. In the meantime, we must understand the nature of the “Lion-share” dealing strategy which occurs in reality in the real world. In the meantime, China must ready to solve the problems of ASEAN countries and the world in the right direction and correctly.

We the team members of MPPA (Myanmar Peace and Political Analyst) really appreciate the steps China has taking at UN General Assembly’s resolution condemning the Myanmar-military coup. We favour to see China will do more constructive engagement with the elected NLD-led government in the near future. NLD-led government has reserved more Business quota for China and her partner’s investment in Burma which will have a dignity level agreement plus a win-win situation. Doing any investment and having relationships with Min Aung Hlaing led military terrorist will degrade the image of China, any agreement would be illegal and will be insulting the feeling of the majority Burmese, eventually, it will lead to eternal enmity between Chinese and Burmese. Therefore, we openly request that the leader of Chinese officials must act before too late and build a bridge with NLD-led elected members.

China must learn a lesson from what Min Aung haling led military terror group and former dictator Than Shwe, who played double standard on China by military engagement with Russia, eastern-Europe countries and Europe’s last dictator country Belarus. Therefore, whatever the deal between China and Myanmar’s military will not be last for long and their engagement is not meant for permanent except just using China for their benefits for the short-term. But by engaging with the elected government will increase the image of China and beneficial for both. We have learnt that Chinese agents were collecting most of our regular information through our friends and our media sources. Therefore the message what we would like to send is, “Support democratically elected NLD-led government (NUG) before too late”.

Belarus versus Myanmar:

Why was Belarus the only country to vote against the UN General Assembly’s resolution condemning the Myanmar coup, calling for a halt to violence and urging UN members to “prevent the flow of arms”? The resolution was overwhelmingly passed with 119 countries voting in favour and 36 abstaining.

Belarus, sometimes called Europe’s last dictatorship, has longstanding ties with the Myanmar military. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters of arms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

In 2008, under Myanmar’s previous dictatorship, the two countries formed a joint commission on military-technical cooperation, which has held annual meetings. Topics include arms sales, manufacturing, technology transfer and training. The Myanmar side of the commission is headed by the deputy defence minister and the Belarus side is headed by the first deputy chair of the State Military Industry Committee.

In 2014, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing visited Belarus, meeting President Alexander Lukashenko and touring arms manufacturers. Belarus state media reported that Lukashenko told Min Aung Hlaing, “I am impressed with your approach” and pledged that Belarus is ready to export to Myanmar. Air defence was also discussed.

Myanmar was then the first country to buy Belarus’ Kvadrat-M SAM missile system, a modernised upgrade of the Soviet-era air 2K12 Kub, pictured at the Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyidaw in 2016.

In 2015, during the government led by military proxy party Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a parliamentary delegation went to Belarus headed by upper house speaker and former psychological warfare director Major General Khin Aung Myint (rtd). The delegation met with Lukashenko, discussing arms sales and military cooperation. Khin Aung Myint told Lukashenko, “We need such reliable partners as Belarus.” The delegation also visited the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, which produces military vehicles.

In 2017, months after the military’s “clearance operations” were launched against the Rohingya, the tenth meeting of the joint commission met in Naypyidaw. Talks were held with Min Aung Hlaing in which Belarus offered cooperation “in a wide range of areas, including repair and modernisation of armaments and military equipment, deliveries, as well as production of advanced military products with the possibility of transferring relevant technologies.”

The last bilateral meeting may have been in February 2020, when an Air Defence Command delegation headed by Lt Gen Tin Maung Win visited Belarus, discussing joint air defence projects.

Since Myanmar’s brutal and illegal attempted coup, Belarus state media has published pro-junta propaganda, portraying peaceful protesters as terrorists and even blaming protesters for the junta’s massacre of civilians on Armed Forces Day. This comes after Belarus’ brutal crackdown against their own democracy movement, following the biggest protests in Belarusian history that began last May.

While we condemn Belarus’ support for the Myanmar military and the attempted coup, we recognise that the Lukashenko regime does not represent the people of Belarus, who continue to sacrifice in their courageous struggle for democracy.

Belarusian arms sales and military cooperation with Myanmar, which aids and abets atrocity crimes, must be stopped. We reiterate our call for a global arms embargo on Myanmar now!

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