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Burma: a neo-colony China

          Burma : a neo-colony China?

The  military nexus between China and Burma is increasingly
becoming a serious threat to regional security.
Ironically,  on March 5,  1998 both Chinese authorities and
Burma's  military government have disclaimed China's clear,
massive, but clandestine military inroads into Burma. Facts
and  ground reality expose the hypocrisy and double-talk of
Chinese and Burmese governments,  both dictatorial regimes.
For   nearly  a  decade,   China  has  help  upgrade  Burma
pre-modern  military  establishment.  Not  only  has  China
continued  its enormous supply  of material,  financial and
technical assistance,  it has also provided direct military
expertise  to the Burmese junta.  Reportedly,  thousands of
China's  people's liberation army "PLA" personnel,  half of
whom  are believed to be  middle-rank officer and technical
expects,   have been closely supervising military expansion
in Burma.

In  fact,   since Burma's  military  seized control  of the
country  in  1988,   having  brutally  crushed  nation-wide
pro-democracy  students and  popular uprising,   the ruling
junta  has steadily increased its ties with Beijing.  China
( and it was only China) was quick to recoganise the ruling
State  Law and  Order Restoration Council  (SLORC) in 1988,
in  a prophetic gesture to  China's own historic crack-down
on  Student democratic protests in Beijing's Tianmen Square
in 1989.  That fateful year marked the clear-out commitment
to  long  standing  defence  co-operation  between  the two
countries.   Erstwhile SLORC's  first external  state tour,
after  its usurpation of power and the consequent all round
the junta's Vice-Chairman,  General Than Shwe (now Chairman
of  SPDC,   State Peace  and  Development Council)  and the
Military  intelligence Service Chief,  Khin Nyunt,  visited
China  in October 1989.  the highlight of the visit was the
Burma's  military regimes pledge  to buy military equipment
worth  $  1.4 billion  from  China.  This  was  followed by
Chinese  Prime  Minister,  Li  Peng's  visit to  Rangoon in
December 1994 Li Peng's visit not only led to a 400 million
pounds  arms  deal,   it also  reaffirmed  China's military
support to Burma and an understanding to uphold the Swe Myo
Pank  Paw (born together  kinship) relationship.  All these
amounted to China's politically providing a shield to Burma
in the international vora.

In  fact,  Burma had singed  an agreement border trade with
China,   during General Ne  Win's visit to  that country in
1985.  The agreement was m..................  To help boost
the  trade, and exercise affective control over it, Chinese
officials  secretly set up an economic intelligence network
in  Burma,   with major  agencies  at Lasho,   Mandalay and
Rangoon.   In response to it,   Burma constituted a leading
Committee  for Promotion  of Sino-Burma  Trade Relations in
1996,   under the chairmanship  of no lesser  a person that
Lt-General  Khin  Nyunt.  Rather  than building  up Burma's
economic capability, in terms of industrial and
technological  development,  Burma simply  became a dumping
ground,  a Starved market indeed,  for the Chinese supplies
production. The Chinese have flooded Burma with their goods
and  commodities  through  the length  and  breadth  of the
country.  According  to  an  estimate,  cross-border  trade
between  the two  countries amounted to  US $  8 billion in
1996,   which is exclusive  of military and infrastructural
Chinese investment.  Hence,  an economist has remarked that
Burma  was last  becoming an  economic satellite  of China.

China's   building   of  infrastructure,    which  involves
upgrading  routes and  ports,  in  Burma betrays  the giant
country's   long  term  design  in  the  hands  of  Chinese
contractors  and companies with  Chinese engineers directly
supervising  implementation of  major projects  such as the
Rangoon-Mandalay  Highways,  Rangoon-  Mandalay rail track,
Myitkyina-Mandaly railways, Mandalay international airport,
Pegu  (now  called  Bago)  international  airport,  several
bridges  over  Irrawaddy  and Chindwin  rivers  and  so on.
Yunnan, the Chinese province, in the major spring-board for
all   these  major  infrastructural  projects.   Make-shift
companies   like  the  Yunnan  Machine  Import  and  Export
Corporation,  China  National  Complete  Plant  Import  and
Export  (group)  Yunnan Corp.,   Yunnan  Navigation control
Bureau  and many other large firm suffixed with Yunnan play
a  significant  role  in increasing  Burma's  dependency in
China  Recently,  China has set  up a consulate in Mandalay
and a little earlier, the SLORC (later renamed SPDC) opened
a  consulate of Kumming in  Yunnan province both consulates
oversee the cross country projects.

In  addition  to road  construction and  renovation,  civil
aviation, railways and allied transport projects, China has
invaded the media and communication space of Burma in a big
way,   following  on  agreement between  the  China Central
Television  (CCTV)  and  the Myanmar  Television  and Radio
Corporation  in January 1997. Now, China's State run Xinhua
News  Agency  totally dominates  the  mass media  in Burma.

Dan  Robinson in report of Voice of America dated April 29,
1996, states "China's military has assisted in
concentration  of  naval  bases and  radar  installation on
Burma's  coast  and that  Rangoon  has granted  China naval
access to Andanman sea ports. "Even though both the Chinese
government   and  military  officials  have  refused  these
reports  there  can be  no  doubt about  the  Chinese grand
strategic  plan  for  military  access  to  Indian  ocean "
China's  attempt to control Burma's  sea routes,  ports and
naval  affairs  started in  1994.   The first  major breath
through  was  achieved  when  Burma  is  biggest  dockyard,
Sinmalike  in Rangoon,   fell into  the trap  following all
agreement  with Yunnan Machinery Import  and Export corp in
1994. China undertook to upgrade the port and the deal cost
the Burmese exchequer more than US $ 40 million,  meant for
purchase  of ships from the same company in Yunnan in 1996.
The  most decisive,   and tragic  for the  people of Burma,
event has the Burmese government's permission, in May 1997,
to  China to virtually take  monopoly control of Irrawaddy,
the  blood  line of  Burma,   following the  signing  of an
agreement   with  the  Yunnan  Navigation  Control  Bureau.
Strategically,  this is considered to be of great national,
regional  of  international  importance  since,  after  the
completion  of  the project,   China will  be able  to sail
freely  into  the  Indian Ocean  from  Kumming  Manse Ruili
(Shweli) through Banmaw- Mandalay and Rangoon.

To  quote  Dan Robinson's  VOA  1996 report  again  " China
supplies  the  Rangoon Junta  with everything..........from
tanks,  aircrafts,  To  ships  for  Burma  navy.  Burma  is
military.....with  has grown  to an  estimated size  of 100
Thousand....   has...  Chinese weapon and ammunition in its
fight  against ethnic  minorities in border  areas,  " more
recently  (Asian Age  May 8 1998)  British defense analysts
and  experts have confirmed" China is  setting up of a long
range  radar  station  on  Burma's  Coco  islands..." these
reports  are doubly  confirmed by facts  and reports inside
Burma.   A part from the (in) famous 1.4 billion US dollars
worth arms deal, China has reassured Burma, time and again,
to  assist  and later's  military modernization  drive.  to
substantiate our contention, we may point out the following
three recent major developments.

(i)  The  Burma  junta  renovated  Kalaymyo  civil aviation
airfield  in  1995  by  upgrading  its  signal  system  and
extended  its runway to make  it suitable for jet fighters.
In the same year, the junta confiscated about 3000 acres of
farmland  in Ye-u township of  Sagaing division.  This vest
patch  of land was  forcibly taken over  from poor peasants
without  any compensation to them.   Now,  a new Airbase is
under  construction,  on  the occupied  land,  with Chinese
financial and technological support.

(ii)  A reliable  report conforms that  the junta succumbed
to  Chinese pressure to  allow them to  utilise three major
strategically located naval bases,  namely Danyawaddy (near
Sittwe,   Arakan State),   Coco Islands  and Zadethyi (near
Cape of Victoria ) All the three have radar facilities,  in
fact,   in  Coco  island a  150  ft high  antenna  has been
installed by the Chinese.

(iii) Most importantly,  Burma army has received US dollars
58  billion  worth of  communication equipment  for defense
use.   The comprise advance radio and radar sets to be used
on  Burma said under  the guidance of  Chinese experts.  As
present, Chinese instructors are imparting technical course
for  Burma army  personnel at  the Central  Signal Training
School in May-myo (now Pyin U Lwin) and the Signal Training
School  in Taunggoo. In December 1996, 300 Burmese Airforce
and  Navy  officers  left  or  China  to  receive  advanced
technical  Training under the Chinese PLA's staff colleges.
All  these are part  or a agreement  reached during Burma's
Chief  of Army  and SLORC's  Vice Chairman,   General Maung
Aye's secret visit to China in October 1996.

The  boy is sufficient to prove the nexus between Burma and
China,   a nexus and that suits China's long term strategic
plan  in the region.  We have greater details to prove this
nexus  and we will  do so when required  it is important to
see  the implications of  Chinese virtual take  over of all
crucial  sectors of  Burma's economy media  surface and air
transport, naval and airforce bases and the consumer market
not  only in terms of regional  security,  but,  or us,  in
terms  of Burma's sovereignty and  self respect.  Aren't we
becoming a neo-colony of China?

Central Committee

All Burma Students League.    

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