YANGON, May 13, 2022 (AFP): Myanmar’s junta on Friday criticized the United States for rejecting it at a regional summit and meeting with opposition leaders, and instead praised its ties with “mighty” China.
Washington has repeatedly condemned the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government last year, and the US government has imposed sanctions on top figures in Myanmar’s military.
Myanmar was represented by an empty chair at a summit this week between US President Joe Biden and leaders of the regional association of the Southeast Asian Nations bloc in Washington.
However, members of a “national unity government” dominated by lawmakers from Suu Kyi’s ousted party were invited to Washington and met with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman – but did not represent Myanmar in the negotiations.
The United States “practiced double standards” by meeting with NUG – which is working to overthrow the coup and has been declared a “terrorist” organization by the junta, military spokesman Zaw Min Tun told AFP.
“In the Asia-Pacific region, China is a powerful country. Our country deals with and has relations with the powerful China and India,” he said.
China is a key ally of the junta and has refused to stamp out military force to seize a coup.
Last month, Beijing said it would help protect Myanmar’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity “no matter how the situation changes.”
The junta is otherwise more and more isolated on the international stage, and the Cambodian leader Hun Sen is the only foreign leader who has been visiting since the puppet.
In February, its foreign minister was barred from attending the withdrawal of an ASEAN foreign minister due to lack of progress in abolishing post-coup violence.
That same month, a UN expert in Myanmar said that China – along with Russia, another major ally – continued to supply the military with weapons, including fighter jets and armored vehicles.
According to a local monitoring group, more than 1,800 people have been killed in a military crackdown on dissent since the coup. – AFP