Research studies

International Implications of Myanmar’s Military Coup

 

Prepared by the researcher  –  Dr. Amira Elsayed Hassan Seddik – A Researcher of Political Science- Alexandria University- Egypt

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of Afro-Asian Studies : Ninth Issue – May 2021

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin. The journal deals with the field of Afro-Asian strategic, political and economic studies

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN  2628-6475
Journal of Afro-Asian Studies

:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link

https://democraticac.de/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Journal-of-Afro-Asian-Studies-Ninth-Issue-%E2%80%93-May-2021.pdf

Abstract

Myanmar’s elections, held in November 2020, the National League for Democracy (NLD) emerge with a landslide victory, winning 396 of 476 parliamentary seats, allowing the party to form a government. Despite this, Myanmar’s military suspected electoral fraud. As a result, the military staged a coup on January 31, 2021, seized power, placed both the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and the president Win Myint under house arrest, and imposed a year-long state of emergency in Myanmar. The coup is no longer just a domestic issue as American, European, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese reactions were soon in the media. Considering the geopolitical importance of Myanmar to the interests of these powers, the research aims to assess the possible impact of this coup on the interests of the Americans, Russians, Chinese, Indians and Japanese in particular. Moreover, the research aims to analyze the possible impact of the coup on the international competition for dominance at Southeast Asia. The research argues that China, Russia, India and Japan will not be the biggest losers of the coup thanks to their pragmatic responses, but the Western powers (especially the US) could become the biggest losers if the Myanmar military does not reverse its action.

Introduction

In November 2020, Myanmar(*) held elections and the National League for Democracy party (NLD) won in a landslide victory, which enabled the party to form a government under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership. Despite the fact that elections were supervised by the national electoral commission, the military refused to accept the results and claimed both irregularities on the voter lists and that the electoral commission did not allowed fair campaigning. However, those claims were rejected by the electoral commission. Moreover, on January 31, 2021 the Myanmarese military staged a coup, assumed power, put both the state counselor and the president under house arrests, declared a one-year state of emergency and formed a new “State Administration Council”.

Myanmar’s coup created internal divisions; on the one hand, the state counselor called the population, via tweeter, for resisting the coup. Indeed, popular protests spread in the country against the coup. On the other hand, the military promised to hold new elections and hand over power to the winners but after reforming the electoral commission. Nevertheless, the military disrupted the internet in an attempt to control the popular protests. As a result, there are concerns that the coup could threaten the stability of the country; especially the Myanmarese Rohingya minority expressed their deep concerns about the military takeover. Those concerns could be understood in the shadow of the long history of suppressing the minority group by the Myanmarese military.

The military takeover is no longer a domestic affair; it provoked different international reactions. In this regard, the research raises the following question: What implications Myanmar’s military coup might have for the American, Chinese, Russian, Indian and Japanese Interests?

While the domestic factors that gave rise to the coup are beyond the scope of the research, the main purpose of the research is to first evaluate possible Implications of Myanmar’s military coup for the Chinese, Russian, Indian, Japanese and American interests. The research focuses on those powers in particular because all of them, except the US, are major Asian powers and are more likely to be affected by the coup. In addition, the US is a leading world power, it has begun to pay considerable attention to the Asian continent since the last decade. The research aims secondly to investigate the impact the coup may have on ongoing rivalries for power and prestige in the Asian continent in general and Southeast Asia in particular.

The research uses the inductive method; it observes the phenomenon of interest in the real world as it is. In addition, it uses the geopolitical approach as a means to describe Myanmar’s geographic location, analyze its geopolitical significance and investigate possible implications of the coup for major powers’ interests.

The research is divided into three sections; the first one describes Myanmar’s geographic location and, subsequently, analyzes its geopolitical significance to the American, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese interests. The second one examines different international reactions to Myanmar’s coup. The last one evaluates possible implications of the coup for the interests of the major powers concerned.

Section I: Myanmar’s Geopolitical Significance

This section aims to analyze Myanmar’s geopolitical significance to the American, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese interests. The section is a good introduction for providing a better understanding of the different international reactions to the coup, which will be covered in the forthcoming section.

1.1: Myanmar’s Geographic Location:

It is widely believed that the twenty first century is Asian per excellence, that is not only because Asia is a homeland of a number of political and economic rising powers like Russia, China, India, Japan and the Asian tigers, such a belief stems also from the fact that Asia is one of the global arenas where international rivalries for power and prestige intensify on its land.

Being part of the Asian continent, Southeast Asia is geopolitically significant; it witnesses an intense rivalry among world and regional powers for influence. In light of its location in Southeast Asia (See Figure 1), Myanmar’s geopolitical significance to the American, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese interests can be understood.

As can be seen in figure 1 below, Myanmar is strategically sandwiched between China and India. In addition, Myanmar is located on strategic waters like the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. That strategic location not only turned Myanmar into a major transportation hub linking South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, it also stimulated geopolitical rivalries among world’s major powers like the US, the EU, China, Russia, India and Japan which all compete for influence in Myanmar.([1]) All the above indicates that even though the coup is a domestic affair, it will inevitably affect those powers’ interests.

Figure (1) Myanmar’s Geographic Location

Source: https://cdn.britannica.com/45/4045-050-4FB539EB/Myanmar-map-boundaries-cities-locator.jpg

1.2: Chinese Interests in Myanmar:

1.2.1: Security Interests:

Since both Myanmar and China share political borders, both have common security interests; they cooperate on controlling drug trafficking across the borders they share. In addition, a stable Myanmar is in China’s interest.([2])

1.2.2: Myanmar and the BRI:

In 2013, the Chinese president, Xi Jintao, announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initiative aims to promote China’s trade across the Asian, European, African and even South American continents. That will consolidate China’s world economic power and enhance its global standing. In this regard, Myanmar occupies an important position in China’s BRI thanks to its strategic location.

Indeed, the Myanmarese state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, agreed to join the Chinese initiative. In light of the BRI, China is working on a number of projects in Myanmar: Firstly, China is developing Kyaukpyu Port on the Bay of Bengal. Secondly it is establishing China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) and a cross-border “Economic Cooperation Zone”. Thirdly, China is establishing a new city in Yangon; the second biggest city after the capital “Naypyidaw”.([3]) In addition, China is investing a huge amount of money in a high-speed rail-link from the Chinese southern Yunnan province to Myanmar’s west coast.([4])(See Figure 2) Nevertheless, disputes between both sides over some issues, because of the increasing Chinese influence, have been reported. ([5])

Figure (2) Economic Corridors in Myanmar

Source: http://usiblog.in/post-covid-effects-on-the-china-myanmar-economic-corridor-cmec/

1.2.3: China’s Energy Security:

By 2010, China became the world’s second biggest economy after the United States. However, the former lacks the sufficient domestic energy resources to satisfy its growing needs. As a result, it became a net importer of energy resources, especially oil and natural gas. China primarily depends upon the “Persian Gulf” for acquiring energy resources which have to pass by the Strait of Hormuz, the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca respectively in order to reach the Chinese mainland (See Figure 3). However, the Strait of Hormuz is politically unstable, the Strait of Malacca is unsafe due to piracy problems and both Straits are dominated by the US navies. All the above threatens China’s “energy security”.

In this regard, Myanmar provides China with an alternative route to Malacca Strait and, subsequently, provides an opportunity to enhance China’s energy security thanks to the former strategic location. As a result, China sought to establish energy pipelines extending from the Bay of Bengal, across Myanmar’s land, to the Chinese borders in order to deliver the needed energy resources, while bypassing the Strait of Malacca and its geostrategic problems (See Figure 3).

Figure (3) The Traditional Energy Supply Route to China (in black) and the Alternative Route through Myanmar (in Red)

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Chinese-oil-supply-chain-network-under-OBOR-Source-Adapted-from-Sheu-and-Kundu-8_fig3_324649303

In addition to providing China with an alternative route to the Strait of Malacca, Myanmar has vast offshore natural gas reserves, especially in the Rakhine state where the Rohingya minority lives. No doubt that those resources increased the appetite of the energy hungry China. As a result, the latter recognized the importance of Myanmar’s resources as additional means of enhancing its energy security. That explains why China currently accounts for almost 70% of foreign investments in Myanmar’s energy sector.([6])

1.2.4: Myanmar Is a Geopolitical Prize:

Thanks to its geographic location, Myanmar is significant to China’s geopolitical interests in several ways. Firstly, expanding the Chinese influence to Myanmar could have a snowballing effect and be an important step forward in a larger Chinese effort to expand its maritime influence into Southeast Asia, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean which are vital regions for China’s interests. Secondly, since India is one of China’s geopolitical rivals, and since India’s interests in Southeast Asia are growing, an expansion of China’s influence to Myanmar will lend the former a hand to contain the growing Indian influence in the region. Thirdly, given US growing interests in Southeast Asia in particular and the Asian continent in general, which were translated into Obama’s doctrine of “Pivot towards Asia”, China is interested in confronting the American influence in Myanmar and Southeast Asia.([7])

1.3: Russian Interests in Myanmar:

1.3.1: Security Interests:

Russia and Myanmar do not share political borders, nevertheless Myanmar is significant to Russia’s interests, especially on security matters. Both countries have Muslim minorities; Chechnya in Russia and Rohingya in Myanmar. While Chechnya rebels undermine the integrity of the Russian federation, Russia emphasized the extremist ties of the Rohingya armed rebel groups.([8]) Likewise, the Myanmarese authorities have a long history of suppressing the Rohingya. In addition to the Muslim minority issue, both countries cooperate on defense issues, protection of secret information and combating drug trafficking.([9])

1.3.2: Maintain the Great-Power Status:

Myanmar is crucial in Russia’s plans to maintain the great-power status. Firstly, being a land power, Russia needs –as geopolitics dictates- to expand its influence and access international warm waters in order to maintain a balance between both land and sea powers.

According to Russia’s maritime strategic thinking, Southeast Asia is not a top priority. Rather, Russia puts other regions, like the Asia-Pacific and the Atlantic, first.([10]) Nevertheless, Russia recognizes the importance of both Southeast Asia as well as the Indian Ocean region to its interests. Myanmar’s strategic location in those two regions is a good reason to explain why it attracts the Russian attention; Myanmar can facilitate Russia’s access to warm water in the south. Moreover, Russia expects that good relations with Myanmar, among other countries in the region, can help to gain a “foothold” in Southeast Asia.([11])

Secondly, since Southeast Asia is increasingly becoming an important arena where the “great game” is being played by major powers, Russia does not wish to become marginalized in such a strategic region. As great-power politics dictates, if Russia wishes to survive as one of the major global powers, it has to maintain and strengthen its position in that pivotal region.([12])

1.3.3: Southeast Asia is Crucial for Avoiding International Isolation:

The Ukraine crisis of 2014 highlighted Southeast Asia’s importance to the Russian interests; Western economic sanctions against Russia encouraged the latter to intensify its search for suitable alternative allies in order to avoid international isolation.([13]) Likewise, as Russia’s relations with the West are currently deteriorating and as Western sanctions against Russia are intensifying in light of the current Russian protests, Russia’s interest in Southeast Asia, among other regions, might increase in a significant way.

1.3.4: Russia’s Economic Interests:

Thanks to its considerable gas reserves, Myanmar attracted Russia’s attention. Unlike other Asian economic powers which lack the sufficient energy resources at home, Russia does not need Myanmar’s resources for consumption purposes. Rather, Russia needs those resources for investment and geopolitical purposes. Indeed, in 2013-2014 Myanmar granted Russian oil companies, among other foreign oil companies, rights to develop onshore energy blocks. In addition, Russia cooperates with Myanmar on the nuclear field, with the aim of developing Myanmar’s capabilities to use nuclear reactors for generating electricity.([14]) Nevertheless, Russia-Myanmar economic relations are very poor, and compared with other powers’ activities, Russia’s business in Myanmar remains quite insignificant.([15])

In addition to cooperation on the energy and the nuclear fields, Russia (jointly with China) is a major Myanmarese arms supplier, as bilateral military cooperation dates back to the 1990s. As a result of the American arms embargo, Myanmar became dependent on both Russia and China in acquiring weapons.([16])

1.4: Indian Interests in Myanmar:

1.4.1: Security Interests:

Since India and Myanmar share political borders, both have common security issues. India faces insurgent groups in the Northeast which have set up bases in Myanmar. In this regard, the latter allows India to carry out raids against those insurgent groups across the borders. In addition, India sells Myanmar quite a bit of military hardware.([17])

1.4.2: Myanmar Is India’s Route to Southeast Asia:

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the significance of Southeast Asia to the Indian interests has begun to emerge. By that time, India was implementing the neo-liberal economic reforms, and India’s ruling elite, who have primarily focused on South Asia for a long time, began to give more attention to Southeast Asia, as the latter became crucial for promoting both India’s economic growth as well as the goals of becoming a great power. As a result, the Indian Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, announced the doctrine of “Look East Policy” in the beginning of the 1990s, he even sought to improve relation with the countries of such a strategic region. In this regard, Myanmar became pivotal; thanks to its geographic location, Myanmar is the only Indian route to the strategic Southeast Asia. Moreover, an expansion of India’s reach to Southeast Asia will facilitate its reach to the Asia-Pacific region.([18])

As time passes, Myanmar had never lost its significance to the Indian interests, on the contrary, the current Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who ascended to power in 2014, developed Rao’s doctrine and adopted the doctrine of “Act East Policy”. In this regard, India sought to improve relations with Myanmar among other countries in the region.

1.4.3: Myanmar and India’s Energy Security:

Energy security plays a crucial role in fulfilling India’s aspiration to a great-power status. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is expected to be the world’s third largest importer of oil by 2025. However, India is highly dependent on foreign countries to satisfy its growing energy needs. As a result, diversifying energy resources is an Indian priority. Despite the fact that more than 70% of its needs are imported from the Gulf region, Myanmar plays a crucial role in enhancing India’s energy security. Like China, Myanmar’s vast offshore gas resources increased the appetite of the energy hungry India. Indeed, the latter has signed memorandums of understanding with Myanmar in order to access its energy resources. Moreover, both cooperate in gas and oil explorations. In addition, India sought to establish Myanmar-Bangladesh-India pipeline (See Figure 4) to transport Myanmar’s resources and, subsequently, satisfy its growing energy needs.([19]) Like China, India is working on a number of projects in Myanmar like establishing India-Myanmar economic corridor, developing the Sittwe Port in the Rakhine State and implementing a transportation project connecting Rakhine state with the Indian province of Mizoram.([20])(See Figure 2)

Figure (4) India-Bangladesh-Myanmar Gas Pipeline

Source: https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2013/07/13/myanmar-bangladesh-and-india-prospects-for-energy-cooperation/

1.4.4: Myanmar Is a Geopolitical Prize:

Thanks to its strategic location, Myanmar is significant to India’s geopolitical interests. Firstly, India and China compete for influence in South and Southeast Asia. Moreover, China’s influence in Myanmar has been a long-standing, albeit not significant, source of that competition. As a result, India needs to maintain its influence in Myanmar, which is perceived part of its near abroad, as a means to counterweight China’s influence in the region.([21]) India sought to achieve that goal through development aid and investments.

Secondly, The Indian Ocean region is strategically important to India’s interests. Since independence, Indian leaders have considered their country a natural dominant of the region.([22]) Despite understandings with other allies, like the United States which play a crucial role in maintaining the regional balance of power, India still suspects great powers’ ambitions in the region. In this regard, maintaining influence in Myanmar is an integral part of a greater effort of maintaining India’s influence in both South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region.

1.5: Japanese Interests in Myanmar:

Japan is one of the major Asian economic powers, it has maintained its position as the world’s second largest economy after the United States until 2010 when China overtook it. Despite the fact that Japan and Myanmar do not share political borders, the former’s interests in Myanmar are significant. Firstly, both countries have had close economic ties since 2011 when a civilian Myanmarese government took power and ended a long period of military rule. Myanmar is a source of cheap labor, a destination of a number of Japanese companies which seek to expand their business and a potential market for Japanese goods.([23]) Secondly, given the Chinese interests in Myanmar, especially regarding the BRI, an increase of Japan’s influence in Myanmar is crucial for both managing the Sino-Japanese rivalry for power in the Asian continent and for maintaining the regional balance of power. Thirdly, being the fourth-largest crude oil importer according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2020 estimates, Japan acquires approximately 90% of its energy needs from the Middle East. Nevertheless, Myanmar’s vast natural gas resources might become crucial to satisfy the Japanese energy needs and to fuel its rising economic power, especially Japan has already attempted to enhance its energy security by diversify its sources of oil imports during the past several years.([24])

1.6: US Interests in Myanmar:

In the last decade, Asia’s significance to the American interests began to emerge and, subsequently, was translated into the doctrine of “Pivot towards Asia” which was announced by the Obama administration.

While Washington’s economic interests in Myanmar are not significant, the former’s interests in Myanmar are mainly related to geostrategy and balance of power. Firstly, with reference to both Myanmar’s geographic location and the ongoing competition among China, Russia and India for influence in the region, Myanmar is not only crucial for maintaining the regional balance of power, it also provides the United States with an opportunity to contain and check the Chinese and the Russian regional ambitions. Second, Myanmar’s vast natural gas reserves can play a crucial role in enhancing the “energy security” of Washington’s closest allies, Europe, India and Japan, as well as in reducing dependence on the Russian gas in the future.

Section II: International Reactions to Myanmar’s Coup

  This sections aims to analyze different international reactions to the coup, it primarily focuses on the American, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese reactions in particular.

2.1: Chinese and Russian Reactions:

Both Chinese and Russian reactions to the Myanmarese military coup were similar in a significant way and highly pragmatic. The day after the coup, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that “China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar and hopes the various parties in Myanmar will appropriately resolve their differences under the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability.”([25]) Likewise, the Russian representative at the UN Human Rights Council called the coup a “purely domestic affair of the sovereign state,” he even asked the international community for “practical assistance to the new authority of Myanmar to fulfill their obligations, including in the field of human rights” instead of criticizing the regime.([26])

In addition, China alongside Russia supported the Myanmarese military against any move to condemn the coup at the UN bodies. For instance, a couple of days after the coup, China and Russia used their veto powers, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), to block a UK-drafted statement condemning the coup. Moreover, China claimed that sanctions and international pressure would only make things worse.([27]) Furthermore, China has not even called the military takeover a “coup”, instead, it used other terms to describe it. According to western media reports, China called it “a major cabinet reshuffle”,([28]) and according to the Chinese mainstream news agency, Myanmar has simply changed the name of president’s office into “Office of State Administration Council.([29])

The Chinese reaction was sufficient to raise international doubts about its involvement in the coup, albeit hard to prove. According to media reports, members of the disobedience movements protested outside Chinese embassy in Yangon, they accused China of both supporting the coup and providing the Myanmarese authorities with the needed technology to shut down the internet across the country. However, China rejected all those claims.([30])

Later on, it seems that China alongside Russia wished to moderate their stance towards the coup. Firstly, both supported UNSC statement which urged Myanmar to “uphold democratic institutions and processes” and to “release of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and all others arrested during the military’s seizure of power”.([31]) In addition, both “dissociated” themselves from the UN Human Rights Council resolution which is calling for the release of those detained in the coup without voting against it.([32])

2.2: Indian and Japanese Reactions:

Both Indian and Japanese reactions to Myanmar’s coup were similar in a significant way. In spite of being preoccupied with its protests, India was carefully watching the political developments within Myanmar. Unlike Western powers, India has not strongly condemned the military coup. Rather, deep concerns about Myanmar’s developments were expressed.([33]) As time passes, India’s views on the coup became clearer. Despite India’s concern about the state of democracy in Myanmar, it stated that sanctions are not the best way to deal with the situation.([34])

Like India, Japan’s reaction to the coup was pragmatic. Being a member of the Group of Seven (G7)(*), Japan condemned the coup in a collective action. Nevertheless, as a result of its significant interests in Myanmar, Japan avoided using a tough stance towards the coup. Moreover, Japan tried to keep a balance between condemning the military takeover and maintaining dialogue with the Myanmarese military. Indeed, the Japanese prime minister expressed “grave concerns” about the coup, he also called “the military to restore the democratic political system as soon as possible.”([35]) Japan also called the Myanmarese “to resolve the situation peacefully through dialogue” and urged the release of the detained officials.([36]) Despite the fact that Japan is one of the Myanmar’s major aid donors, the former has not suspended aid to the latter in an attempt not to lose Myanmar to other rival powers, especially China.([37])

2.3: American Reaction:

Being the world’s leading power, the United States could not have ignored the Myanmarese coup, even if it is occurring miles away from the American mainland. Rather, the Asian continent is increasingly receiving the American attention; that is mainly because Washington’s major rivals, China and Russia, are located in Asia.

Myanmar’s coup was staged only ten days after the new American president, Joe Biden, ascended to power. Washington strongly condemned the coup; US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said the military must reverse its actions immediately.([38]) In addition, president Biden considered the coup a direct assault on democracy, he even threatened to impose sanctions against Myanmar one more time.([39]) Furthermore, he promised to work with Washington’s partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning “Burma’s” democratic transition.([40]) Indeed, Washington not only canceled $42 million in Myanmar aid, economic sanctions were also imposed against a number of Myanmarese military leaders.([41])

The American reaction to the coup can be understood in light of the significance of Asia in general and Southeast Asia in particular to the American interests. Washington is really concerned about the regional implications of the coup for the state of democracy in Southeast Asia.([42]) Especially, the new American administration has given human rights greater priority in the conduct of the American foreign policy and president Biden has repeatedly stressed his deep commitment to America’s democratic values.([43])

2.4: Other International Reactions:

Myanmar’s coup provoked other international reactions; EU leaders condemned both the military coup and the use of force against the protesters. EU leaders, subsequently, demanded the immediate release of people arrested and reestablishing the democratic process in the country.([44]) Furthermore, the European Council imposed sanctions against 11 military officials and entities in Myanmar including the coup leader.([45]) In addition, member states of the G7 condemned the military coup in a joint statement, calling Myanmar’s military to immediately end the state of emergency, restore power to the democratically-elected government, release all those unjustly detained and respect human rights and the rule of law.([46]) Moreover, a couple of days after the coup the United Kingdom issued a draft statement to condemn the coup, but it was jointly vetoed by Russia and China. Later on, the UK and Canada imposed sanctions against a number of Myanmarese military figures as a result of human right abuses.([47]) Furthermore, New Zealand severed relations with Myanmar.([48])

Section III: International Implications of Myanmar’s Coup

In light of Myanmar’s geopolitical significance and different international reactions to the coup which were analyzed in the previous two sections, this sections aims to evaluate possible implications of the coups for the Chinese, Russian, Indian, Japanese and the American interests.

3.1: Implications for China:

China and Myanmar have long history of good and close relation regardless of the type of government ruling the latter. When Myanmar was being ruled by the military, China was a long-standing supporter of Myanmar. Moreover, the military rule left Myanmar internationally isolated, so it became more dependent on China (and India to some extent) for receiving both economic and military aid.([49]) Furthermore, China became one of Myanmar’s major arms supplier thanks to the US arms embargo imposed against it.([50]) All the above does not mean that Myanmar is a Chinese satellite state, it has been reported that the Myanmarese military has always been suspicious of the Chinese ambitious, and since 2000 it has even attempted to approach India and Russia in order to counter-balance the Chinese influence.([51])

Later on, when the Saffron revolution sparked in Myanmar in 2007, the Chinese leadership considered it as unwelcomed development.([52]) Nevertheless, when Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian reformist government, of NLD, ascended to power in 2011, China sought to improve relations with Myanmar. That should not come as a surprise; China doesn’t mind establishing relations with any type of governments as long as its interests are protected. Moreover, it has been reported that China (alongside Russia) has repeatedly protected Myanmar from criticism and condemnation at the UN over the military crackdown on the Muslim minority Rohingya population.([53])

Some analysts argue that since 2011 the Myanmarese president has sought to expand Myanmar’s international relations and to reduce its dependence on China as well. Moreover, it has been argued that despite the Chinese support, the latter’s influence in Myanmar diminished under the reformist government. Nevertheless, China continues to invest in Myanmar resources and infrastructure projects despite the cancellation of a major dam project by Myanmar’s government.([54])

 In light of both the history of close relations between China and the Myanmarese military as well as the Chinese support of Myanmar, the latter’s coup does not seem to have a major negative impact on China’s interests. Rather, in light of the Western reactions to the coup, China might become a major winner and history is more likely to repeat itself. Firstly, China relations with the Myanmarese military are not bad, so the former’s interests are protected. Secondly, Western sanctions against Myanmar will internationally isolate the country one more time. That might bring Myanmar closer to other powers which adopted a softer stance like China, Russia and India. That, for sure, will increase China’s influence in such a strategic country. Nevertheless, China’s gains are not without limitations; internal instability within Myanmar is not in China’s interests; as instability harms China’s business in Myanmar.

3.2: Implications for Russia:

Historically, Russia has always had good relations with the Myanmarese military. Firstly, both had cooperated on military issues. Secondly, Russia is one of Myanmar’s major arms suppliers. Thirdly, during the Saffron revolution of 2007, Russia (jointly with China) supported Myanmar and vetoed a US-sponsored resolution criticizing the former’s human rights record and calling for the release of all political prisoners, Russia even claimed that the situation in Myanmar does not pose any threat to international or regional peace.([55]) Fourthly, Russia supported the Myanmarese military during the Rohingya crisis of 2017, against any condemnation at the UN as mentioned earlier, Russia even emphasized the extremist ties of Rohingya armed rebel groups.([56])

Russia’s reaction to the 2021 coup indicates that it might not be the biggest loser of the military takeover; rather, this research argues that the coup might be used by Russia as a geopolitical card against its Western rivals.

Russia-West geopolitical rivalry is not secret and Myanmar’s significance to Russia’s interests could be partly understood in this context. In August 2020, presidential elections were held in Belarus, an Eastern European state, where Lukashenko, who had good relations with Russia, won 80% of the votes. However, the West refused to accept the results and called the elections as neither fair nor free. While Western powers support Belarus’ protests, which continue to the day against Lukashenko, Russia supports Belarus’ president.([57]) Despite the lack of any direct link between what happened in Belarus and what is happening in Myanmar, both events might not be separate according to Russia. Russian and Western reactions to the Belarusian and the Myanmarese developments are part of the “great game” of power and influence which is being played on the Eurasian chessboard. Russia perceives Belarus’ protests as targeting its influence in Eastern Europe, so Myanmar’s coup could be exploited by the same logic to counterweight the Western policies and to manage the ongoing geopolitical rivalry with the West. Especially, rivalry has intensified since the ascendance of Joe Biden who adopts tougher stance towards Russia as a reaction to protests which erupted in the latter and which were followed by another wave of Western sanctions against Russia. Moreover, in its interim “National Security Strategic Guidance” which was issued in March 2021, the US expressed deep concerns about Chinese and Russian, among other countries, threats to its interests.([58])

3.3: Implications for India:

Despite the fact that India considers Myanmar’s coup a setback to democracy, the former might not become the biggest loser of the coup thanks to its pragmatic foreign policy stance that has been adopted since the 1990s.

Since independence, India’s foreign policy has been dominated by the idealist principles of the Nehru era. However, during the 1990s, when India was being ruled by BJP, pragmatism replaced the idealist democratic principles that have dictated India’s foreign policy for a long time. As a result of these major shifts in India’s foreign policy, relations with the Myanmarese military, who ruled until 2011, improved in a significant way. On the one hand, India sought such an improvement as a result of the increasing economic significance of Myanmar to the former’s interests. On the other hand, the Myanmarese military sought to improve relations with India (and Russia) in order to counterweight the Chinese influence as mentioned before. Indeed, Indo-Myanmar relations dramatically improved on the economic, diplomatic and military levels regardless of the ruling Myanmarese elite.([59])

Later on, when Myanmar’s NLD party ascended to power and established the first civilian government after the long military dominance of power, India’s relations with the new reformist government improved and bilateral military cooperation, which was resumed in 2000, even deepened as a result of the common security interests.([60])

In light of the Indian interests in Myanmar and the historic good relations with the Myanmarese military, India might not be the biggest loser of the coup. That explains why unlike Western powers, India has not strongly condemned Myanmar’s coup; Firstly, India is currently preoccupied with its internal problems and protests. Secondly, India has good relations with the Myanmarese military. Thirdly, adopting a pragmatic stance towards the coup is in India’s interest, as the latter does not wish to lose Myanmar to its major rival; China. Fourthly, India under Modi is adopting a pragmatic foreign policy and sought to improve relations with China, the former does not wish to escalate the already ongoing military tensions on the disputed Chinese-Indian borders. In sum, India will do its best to maintain and strengthen its influence in Myanmar and to protect its geopolitical interests, while employing the economic tool as a means to protect those interests.

3.4: Implications for Japan:

Like India, Japan’s interests in Myanmar played a crucial role in keeping the Japanese pragmatic stance towards Myanmar regardless of the type of governments that rules the latter. So, when Myanmar was being ruled by the military, Japan had good relation with Myanmar and its military. In addition, when the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi ascended to power in 2011, bilateral relation dramatically improved. Japan even become one of Myanmar’s major aid donors, the former also counted on its good historic relations with Myanmar to help mediate between the military and the West.([61]) While that pragmatic stance protected the Japanese interests in Myanmar, the former is really concerned about the latter’s domestic development which may threaten its economic and geopolitical interests.

3.5: Implications for the United States:

Since 1962, when the military staged a coup and ruled Myanmar (then Burma) until 2011, US relations with the latter’s ruling elite has not been so good. Despite being critical of the military rule, the United States just downgraded its relations with it. In the shadow of the cold war, the US didn’t wish to lose “Burma” to the Soviet Union. However, the US has always been critical of the state of democracy and Human rights in Myanmar. Critics followed the crackdown on pro-democracy protests of the 1988, setting aside the 1990s elections, cracking down protest movements during the Saffron Revolution of 2007 and suppressing the Rohingya minority in 2017.([62])

The US has always sought to enter Myanmar into its orbit, both democracy promotion and economic sanctions (or aid) have been important tools in this regard. Indeed, relations with Myanmar relatively improved after the “saffron revolution” of 2007. Moreover, the relative triumph of democracy and the ascendance of a civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011 were both supported by the United States. Nevertheless, the American aid to Myanmar remained modest compared to the amount of aid and investments the latter receives from China.([63]) Moreover, despite political reforms, the US has not lifted sanctions which were imposed against Myanmar until 2016. Furthermore, the American arms embargo brought Myanmar closer to China and Russia.([64])

In the shadow of that history of unfriendly relations with the Myanmarese military, The United States might become one of the biggest losers of the coup. Firstly, the coup violates the Western democratic values and may bring Myanmar and the United States back to enmity, especially the new American administrations highlights the importance of freedom, democracy and human rights. Secondly, imposing sanctions and blockades against Myanmar will make things worse; the latter will be more isolated, which might bring it closer to China and Russia in an attempt to counterweight the Western blockade, securing the Chinese geopolitical goals of integrating Myanmar in the Chinese sphere of influence and easing the Chinese goals of accessing the Indian Ocean. Thirdly, it has been argued that the US is unwilling to impose a broad-based economic sanctions in order not to hurt the poor citizens, especially Covid-19 pandemic has already affected the Myanmarese economy in a negative way.([65]) Fourthly, imposing sanction against Myanmar might not be an effective option for the United States, since the American economic leverage in Myanmar is modest and the amounts of American aid delivered to Myanmar are not huge compared to those of China.([66]) Fifthly, other pragmatic reactions to the coup may undermine the American goals and loosen the Western pressures.

 However, The United States can rely on the Myanmarese military fears of the Chinese ambitions which are inherited in the military strategic culture. The latter unwillingness to let their country fall into the Chinese sphere of influence as well as their need to improve relations with other powers to counter-balance the Chinese influence can be well exploited by the United States. In addition, internal unrest in Myanmar disrupts China’s economic projects.

Conclusion:

The coup in Myanmar, staged on January 31, 2021, may appear at first glance to be a domestic affair. However, the coup has provoked various international reactions. In this regard, the main objective of the research was to assess the possible international impact of this coup on American, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese interests. The Inquiry sought to achieve this objective by both analyzing the interests of these powers in Myanmar in the light of the country’s strategic position on the Asian continent, and by examining the various international reactions to the coup. The research concludes that Myanmar occupies a strategic location in Southeast Asia, between the regional powers of China and India, on strategic waters and at strategic crossroads connecting South Asia, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific. This location is strategic enough to intensify the rivalry of the great powers for influence in the country and the region. This explains why the coup in Myanmar, although an internal variable, provoked international reactions.

Moreover, the study concludes that given the disparity in international reactions, Western powers, such as the US and Europe, may be the biggest losers of the coup. Sanctions and the suspension of aid could make the situation worse. Moreover, these reactions could bring Myanmar closer to the West’s rivals, China and Russia, in order to circumvent sanctions and avoid international isolation.

Although China has been negatively affected by Myanmar’s instability, it could become one of the biggest winners. Because of its good historical relations with the military, China can deepen its influence in the region, apart from the Western blockade. Russia could also become another big winner; it could use the coup as a geopolitical tool to manage its rivalry with the West, which has intensified in the last days of Trump and the first days of Biden.

Despite their deep concerns about the state of democracy, India and Japan may not be big losers thanks to their pragmatic responses. Unlike the West, India and Japan have realized that sanctions are not the best way to deal with the coup, besides they do not want to lose Myanmar to their common geopolitical rival, China. Rather, India is doing its best to protect its interests and strengthen its influence in such a strategic country. Similarly, even Japan tried to balance between condemning the coup and opening a dialog with Myanmar.

References:

Documents:

  1. Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation 2015, Russia Maritime Institute, translated by Anna Davis, https://dnnlgwick.blob.core.windows.net, March 2015.
  2. The White House, Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, March 2021, whitehouse.gov

Books:

  1. Harris, Stuart, China’s Foreign Policy, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014.
  2. Ogden, Chris, Indian Foreign Policy: Ambition and Transition, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014.

Periodicals:

  1. Chaudhury, Anasua Basu Ray and Saha, Premesha, Indo-Pacific, in V Pant, Harsh and Taneja, Kabir (Eds.), Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Foreign Policy in Transition Under Modi, ORF Special Report, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi – India, No. 93, July 2019.
  2. Dalpino, Catharin, in Caballero-Anthony, Mely and others, Myanmar’s Growing Regional Role, NBR Special Report, the National Bureau of Asian Research, Washington, USA, 45, March 2014.
  3. Gorenburg, Dmitry and Schwartz, Paul, Russia’s Relations with Southeast Asia, Russie Nei Reports, the Institut Francais des relations internationals, Paris – France, No. 26, March 2019.
  4. Lutz-Auras, Ludmila, Russia and Myanmar – Friends in Need?, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Institute of Asian Studies and Hamburg University Press, No. 34, Vol. 2, 2015.
  5. Seddik, Amira, Great Powers Policies towards Belarus Protests: A Geopolitical Study, Journal of Political Trends, Democratic Arab Center, Berlin – Germany, Issue 13. (in Arabic)
  6. Storey, Ian, China, Burma, and the “Saffron Revolution”, China Brief, James town Foundation, Washington D.C. – USA, Vol. 7, No. 19, October 17, 2007.

Online Articles:

  1. “direct assault” on democracy: Biden Threatens Sanctions against Myanmar unless military respects “credible election”, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/514307-biden-myanmar-sanctions-democracy/, February 1, 2021.
  2. “Shame on China”; protests outside Chinese embassy in Yangon against Beijing’s support to military rule, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/shame-on-you-china-protest-outside-chinese-embassy-in-yangon-against-beijings-support-to-military-rule/articleshow/80910637.cms, February 14, 2021.
  3. Actions of global community on Myanmar coup should focus on reconciliation: China on UNSC meet, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/actions-of-global-community-on-myanmar-coup-should-focus-on-reconciliation-china-on-unsc-meet/articleshowprint/80652352.cms, Feb 2, 2021.
  4. Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy, Myanmar continues pushback against BRI: Chinese Eco Development Zone faces turbulence, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/, August 05, 2020.
  5. China calls for all sides to ‘resolve differences’ after Myanmar coup, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-calls-for-all-sides-to-resolve-differences-after-myanmar-coup/articleshow/80628726.cms, February 1, 2021.
  6. Condemning the coup in Myanmar: G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement, https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/92497/condemning-coup-myanmar-g7-foreign-ministers-statement_en, February 2, 2021.
  7. EU governments condemn Myanmar coup, next steps unclear, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-politics-eu-vonderleyen/eu-governments-condemn-myanmar-coup-next-steps-unclear-idUSKBN2A11SP, February 1, 2021.
  8. EU imposes sanctions in response to Myanmar coup, DW, https://www.dw.com/en/eu-imposes-sanctions-in-response-to-myanmar-coup/a-56948456, March 22, 2021.
  9. For Japan, Myanmar coup brings fears of threat to business, political ties, Mainichi Japan, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210202/p2a/00m/0bu/010000c, February 2, 2021.
  10. Goulard, Sebastien, Myanmar keen to open up BRI projects to foreigners, One Belt One Road Europe, https://www.oboreurope.com/en/myanmar-foreigners-nydc/, August 12, 2020.
  11. Japan expresses concerns over Myanmar, urges Suu Kyi’s release, Mainichi Japan, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210201/p2g/00m/0na/047000c, February 1, 2021.
  12. Kato, Masaya, Japan seeks dialogue with Myanmar military after coup, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Myanmar-Coup/Japan-seeks-dialogue-with-Myanmar-military-after-coup, February 5, 2021.
  13. Kurlantzick, Joshua, The Regional Implications of Myanmar’s Coup, Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/article/regional-implications-myanmars-coup, February 12, 2021.
  14. Malhotra, Jyoti, Myanmar coup shows a new chapter in the Great Game of the East is unfolding. India watching, The Print, https://theprint.in/opinion/global-print/myanmar-coup-shows-a-new-chapter-in-the-great-game-of-the-east-is-unfolding-india-watching/596986/, February 2, 2021.
  15. Mitra, Devirupa, As Myanmar Returns to Crisis Mode, India Maintains Sanctions Are Not the Answer, The Wire, https://thewire.in/south-asia/as-myanmar-returns-to-crisis-mode-india-maintains-sanctions-are-not-the-answer, February 16, 2021.
  16. Myanmar coup just a ‘cabinet reshuffle’: Chinese state media, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/myanmar-coup-just-a-cabinet-reshuffle-chinese-state-media/articleshow/80643954.cms, Feb 2, 2021.
  17. Myanmar coup: China blocks UN condemnation as protest grows, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55913947, February 3, 2021.
  18. Myanmar renames president’s office, union gov’t office, Xinhua News Agency, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-02/06/c_139726615.htm, February 6, 2021.
  19. Myanmar’s military coup: what led to it and the strategic stakes for India, The Print, https://theprint.in/opinion/behind-the-military-coup-in-myanmar-what-led-to-it-the-strategic-stakes-for-india/597830/, February 3, 2021.
  20. New Zealand cuts off all high-level political & military contacts with Myanmar, as tens of thousands protest military coup, Russia Today, February 9, 2021, https://www.rt.com/news/514981-myanmar-newzealand-cuts-ties-protest/
  21. Parashar, Sachin, To counter China, India offers Myanmar a $6bn oil refinery, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-looks-to-build-6-billion-refinery-in-energy-rich-myanmar/articleshow/78499837.cms, October 6, 2020.
  22. Reed, John and White, Edward, Myanmar protesters accuse China of backing coup plotters, The Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/43e6ecfe-081a-4390-aa18-154ec87ff764, February 17, 2021.
  23. Russia Backs Myanmar Military After China Raises Concerns, The Moscow Times, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/02/17/russia-backs-myanmar-military-after-china-raises-concerns-a72983, February 17, 2021.
  24. Strangio, Sebastian, UN Security Council Condemns Military Takeover in Myanmar, The Diplomat, https://thediplomat.com/2021/02/un-security-council-condemns-military-takeover-in-myanmar/, February 5, 2021.
  25. UK and Canada sanction Myanmar generals for ‘human rights abuses’ as hundreds of protesters arrested amid military coup, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/515966-uk-canada-sanction-myanmar/, February 18, 2021.
  26. United States Cancels $42 million in Myanmar aid over military coup.. then redirects it to nation’s “civil society”, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/515312-us-sanctions-myanmar-coup/, February 11, 2021.
  27. Walt, M. Stephen, What America Should – and Shouldn’t- Do About Myanmar’s Coup, Foreign Policy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/02/04/what-america-should-and-shouldnt-do-about-myanmars-coup/, February 4, 2021.

(*) Since independence in 1948, the country has been named “Burma” after the Burman ethnic majority who lives in the country. However, because the country is multi-ethnic in nature, in 1989 the political authority, which was dominated by the military, renamed the country “Myanmar” which is more inclusive of the minority groups. Nevertheless, some Western countries, including the United States, still use “Burma” to the day. For more information see: Tong-Hyung Kim, and Kim Hyung-Jin, Explainer: Myanmar, Burma and why the different names matter https://apnews.com/article/myanmar-burma-different-names-explained-8af64e33cf89c565b074eec9cbe22b72, February 3, 2021.

([1])Lutz-Auras, Ludmila, Russia and Myanmar – Friends in Need?, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Institute of Asian Studies and Hamburg University Press, No. 34, Vol. 2, 2015, p.166.

([2])Harris, Stuart, China’s Foreign Policy, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014, p.162.

([3])Goulard, Sebastien, Myanmar keen to open up BRI projects to foreigners, One Belt One Road Europe, https://www.oboreurope.com/en/myanmar-foreigners-nydc/, August 12, 2020.

([4])China calls for all sides to ‘resolve differences’ after Myanmar coup, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-calls-for-all-sides-to-resolve-differences-after-myanmar-coup/articleshow/80628726.cms, February 1, 2021.

([5])Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy, Myanmar continues pushback against BRI: Chinese Eco Development Zone faces turbulence, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/, August 05, 2020.

([6])Parashar, Sachin, To counter China, India offers Myanmar a $6bn oil refinery, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-looks-to-build-6-billion-refinery-in-energy-rich-myanmar/articleshow/78499837.cms, October 6, 2020.

([7]) Harris, Stuart, Op. Cit., p.162.

([8])Gorenburg, Dmitry and Schwartz, Paul, Russia’s Relations with Southeast Asia, Russie Nei Reports, the Institut Francais des Relations Internationals, Paris- France, No. 26, March 2019, p.27.

([9]) Lutz-Auras, Ludmila, Op. Cit., p. 173.

([10]) Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation 2015, Russia Maritime Institute, translated by Anna Davis, https://dnnlgwick.blob.core.windows.net, March 2015.

([11]) Lutz-Auras, Ludmila, Op. Cit., p. 175.

([12]) Ibid, p. 170.

([13]) Ibid, p. 169.

([14]) Ibid, p. 179.

([15]) Ibid, p. 177.

([16]) Ibid, p. 182-183.

([17]) Myanmar’s military coup: what led to it and the strategic stakes for India, The Print, https://theprint.in/opinion/behind-the-military-coup-in-myanmar-what-led-to-it-the-strategic-stakes-for-india/597830/, February 3, 2021.

([18]) Ogden, Chris, Indian Foreign Policy: Ambition and Transition, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014, p.89, 111.

([19]) Ibid, p. 53, 63-64, 89.

([20]) Chaudhury, Anasua Basu Ray and Saha, Premesha, Indo-Pacific, in V Pant, Harsh and Taneja, Kabir (Eds.), Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Foreign Policy in Transition Under Modi, ORF Special Report, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi – India, No. 93, July 2019, p. 51.

([21]) Harris, Stuart, Op. Cit., p. 158, 162.

([22]) Ogden, Chris, Op. Cit., p. 74.

([23])For Japan, Myanmar coup brings fears of threat to business, political ties, Mainichi Japan, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210202/p2a/00m/0bu/010000c, February 2, 2021.

([24])Although the Middle East remains the primary source of Japan’s crude oil imports, Japan has attempted to diversify its sources of oil imports during the past several years. As a result, it showed more interest in Russia’s Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. Russia accounted for about 9% of Japan’s oil imports in 2015. Nevertheless, in recent years Russia’s share has declined and was only 5% in 2019. https://www.eia.gov/international/analysis/country/JPN, access date March 20, 2021.

([25])China calls for all sides to ‘resolve differences’ after Myanmar coup, Op. Cit.

([26])Russia Backs Myanmar Military After China Raises Concerns, The Moscow Timeshttps://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/02/17/russia-backs-myanmar-military-after-china-raises-concerns-a72983, February 17, 2021.

([27])Myanmar coup: China blocks UN condemnation as protest grows, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55913947, February 3, 2021.

See also: Reed, John and White, Edward, Myanmar protesters accuse China of backing coup plotters, The Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/43e6ecfe-081a-4390-aa18-154ec87ff764, February 17, 2021.

([28])Myanmar coup just a ‘cabinet reshuffle’: Chinese state media, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/myanmar-coup-just-a-cabinet-reshuffle-chinese-state-media/articleshow/80643954.cms, Feb 2, 2021.

([29])Myanmar renames president’s office, union gov’t office, Xinhua News Agency, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-02/06/c_139726615.htm, February 6, 2021.

([30])“Shame on China”; protests outside Chinese embassy in Yangon against Beijing’s support to military rule, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/shame-on-you-china-protest-outside-chinese-embassy-in-yangon-against-beijings-support-to-military-rule/articleshow/80910637.cms, February 14, 2021.

See also: Reed, John and White, Edward, Op. Cit.

([31])Strangio, Sebastian, UN Security Council Condemns Military Takeover in Myanmar, The Diplomat, https://thediplomat.com/2021/02/un-security-council-condemns-military-takeover-in-myanmar/, February 5, 2021.

([32])Russia Backs Myanmar Military After China Raises Concerns, Op. Cit.

([33])Malhotra, Jyoti, Myanmar coup shows a new chapter in the Great Game of the East is unfolding. India watching, The Print, https://theprint.in/opinion/global-print/myanmar-coup-shows-a-new-chapter-in-the-great-game-of-the-east-is-unfolding-india-watching/596986/, February 2, 2021.

([34])Mitra, Devirupa, As Myanmar Returns to Crisis Mode, India Maintains Sanctions Are Not the Answer, The Wire, https://thewire.in/south-asia/as-myanmar-returns-to-crisis-mode-india-maintains-sanctions-are-not-the-answer, February 16, 2021.

(*)Group of Seven (G7) includes: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States.

([35])Kato, Masaya, Japan seeks dialogue with Myanmar military after coup, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Myanmar-Coup/Japan-seeks-dialogue-with-Myanmar-military-after-coup, February 5, 2021.

([36])Japan expresses concerns over Myanmar, urges Suu Kyi’s release, Mainichi Japan, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210201/p2g/00m/0na/047000c, February 1, 2021.

([37])Kato, Masaya, Op. Cit.

([38])Malhotra, Jyoti, Op. Cit.

([39])“direct assault” on democracy: Biden Threatens Sanctions against Myanmar unless military respects “credible election”, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/514307-biden-myanmar-sanctions-democracy/, February 1, 2021.

([40])Actions of global community on Myanmar coup should focus on reconciliation: China on UNSC meet, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/actions-of-global-community-on-myanmar-coup-should-focus-on-reconciliation-china-on-unsc-meet/articleshowprint/80652352.cms, Feb 2, 2021.

([41])United States Cancels $42 million in Myanmar aid over military coup.. then redirects it to nation’s “civil society”, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/515312-us-sanctions-myanmar-coup/, February 11, 2021.

([42])Kurlantzick, Joshua, Op. Cit.

([43])Walt, M. Stephen, What America Should—and Shouldn’t—Do About Myanmar’s Coup, Foreign Policy, https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/02/04/what-america-should-and-shouldnt-do-about-myanmars-coup/, February 4, 2021.

([44])EU governments condemn Myanmar coup, next steps unclear, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-politics-eu-vonderleyen/eu-governments-condemn-myanmar-coup-next-steps-unclear-idUSKBN2A11SP, February 1, 2021.

([45])EU imposes sanctions in response to Myanmar coup, DW, https://www.dw.com/en/eu-imposes-sanctions-in-response-to-myanmar-coup/a-56948456, March 22, 2021.

([46])Condemning the coup in Myanmar: G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement, https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/92497/condemning-coup-myanmar-g7-foreign-ministers-statement_en, February 2, 2021.

([47])UK and Canada sanction Myanmar generals for ‘human rights abuses’ as hundreds of protesters arrested amid military coup, Russia Today, https://www.rt.com/news/515966-uk-canada-sanction-myanmar/, February 18, 2021.

([48])New Zealand cuts off all high-level political & military contacts with Myanmar, as tens of thousands protest military coup, Russia Today, February 9, 2021, https://www.rt.com/news/514981-myanmar-newzealand-cuts-ties-protest/

([49]) Harris, Stuart, Op. Cit., p.162.

([50]) Storey, Ian, China, Burma, and the “Saffron Revolution”, China Brief, James town Foundation, Washington D.C. – USA, Vol. 7, No. 19, October 17, 2007.

([51]) Ibid.

([52]) Ibid.

([53]) Myanmar coup: China blocks UN condemnation as protest grows, Op. Cit.

([54]) Harris, Stuart, Op. Cit., p.162.

([55]) Lutz-Auras, Ludmila, Op. Cit., p. 174.

([56]) Gorenburg, Dmitry and Schwartz, Paul, Op. Cit. p.27.

([57]) Seddik, Amira, Great Powers Policies towards Belarus Protests: A Geopolitical Study, Journal of Political Trends, Democratic Arab Center, Berlin, Germany, Issue 13, (in Arabic)

([58])The White House, Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, March 2021, www.whitehouse.gov, p.8.

([59]) Ogden, Chris, Op. Cit., p.89.

([60]) Ibid, p.90.

See also: Chaudhury, Anasua Basu Ray and Saha, Premesha, Op. Cit., p.51.

([61]) Masaya. Kato, Op. Cit.

([62]) Kurlantzick, Joshua, The Regional Implications of Myanmar’s Coup, Council on Foreign Relations, https://www.cfr.org/article/regional-implications-myanmars-coup, February 12, 2021.

([63]) Walt, M. Stephen, Op. Cit.

([64]) Dalpino, Catharin, in Caballero-Anthony, Mely and others, Myanmar’s Growing Regional Role, NBR Special Report, the National Bureau of Asian Research, Washington, USA, No.45, March 2014, p. 29.

([65]) Kurlantzick, Joshua, Op. Cit.

([66]) Walt, M. Stephen, Op. Cit.

5/5 - (4 أصوات)

المركز الديمقراطى العربى

المركز الديمقراطي العربي مؤسسة مستقلة تعمل فى اطار البحث العلمى والتحليلى فى القضايا الاستراتيجية والسياسية والاقتصادية، ويهدف بشكل اساسى الى دراسة القضايا العربية وانماط التفاعل بين الدول العربية حكومات وشعوبا ومنظمات غير حكومية.

مقالات ذات صلة

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *

شاهد أيضاً
إغلاق
زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى