SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence’s contributor, Ahmed Rajeev, provides a leftist look at the situation in Myanmar
Myanmar’s jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other relatively intact mineral resources, its ethnic identity, socio-cultural and traditional practices- all are appeared as enemies in a capitalist world system. Like most naturally rich countries Myanmar was invaded by Mongols, British Empire and Japanese empire and the people of Myanmar tried to fight them but could not win against technically and immorally powerful aggressors. Japan invasion in 1942 and the Burma Campaign could not secure the aspiration for freedom of the people. The British planted some political mines in Myanmar for the future diplomacy and the capitalist benefits before giving the independence of Myanmar. One of them was ‘democracy’, which created social, cultural and ethnic divisions and violence declaring its authenticity from 1948 till date.
Chinese Revolution, which made a strong political presence in Myanmar’s domestic politics, also created a fetching volume of western critics. And later, risking a communist revolution in Myanmar the west made a space where the army could take power. Although, the Chinese communist party and Burmese communist party had political ties with each other, the Chinese part made a compromise with the western policy. There were two reasons for Chinese compromise to Myanmar; first china wanted economic growth not confrontation with the west, and secondly the fall of Soviet Union in 90’s which made a huge negative impact on communist ideologies including the one in Myanmar.
On the other hand, to create an authenticity in the need for Democracy, there were many plots of terrorism, ethnic and religious violence occurred. We saw, how the west capitalized those issues of chaos to create a global consent of need for democracy and justice in Myanmar. Now the west and their regional partners like India want Suu Kyi’s party to win the election to show the world that democracy is winning though it is being defeated in the Middle East.
Although, China cannot directly interfere into the domestic politics but indirectly their political presence can be seen in the rigidity of the present Military state system of Myanmar. The Army government now has a huge diplomatic support from China.
Let’s come to the current general election again. The interesting part of this general election process is that it reserves 25% of total seats for the army personnel. So the army can take a direct part in law and decision making in upper and lower houses with the elected members. It seemed that, the people of Myanmar will not let the western democracy go unchecked and unchallenged. And through this election, the west with India backed political party such as National League for Democracy will share power with the China backed military representatives.
But from a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, this co-existence of mutually conflicting ideas and strategies will not last long, as we have already seen it in the Middle East. The world is changing. Already there are wars and political tensions took gears in many places of the world between counter economic and geopolitical blocs.
It is clear that China approved this political co-existence with west and India for their ambitious One Belt One Road project. China allowed the democratic practices in Myanmar for BCIM project- a regional project that connects Chinese One Belt One Road grand design. On the contrary, the west will try to establish NGO and other immoral programs in a so called democratic Myanmar to create more divisions, interest groups, oligarchy, chaos and instability in the country to delay and negotiate the BCIM project with China and complete ‘democratic’ occupation without sharing power with the military who already secured their 25% seats in parliament. The west knows very well that, the uprooting of military from the state power is equal to the uprooting of Chinese influence from Myanmar politics. And we can conclude that Myanmar was bound to take the risk to ride ‘two different boats of two different speeds’ at same time to the unknown road of socio-political violence and oppression.