First day of February, Myanmar’s political situation suddenly changed. The country’s military detained State Senior State Senior Aung San Suu Kyi, President Wen Min and others, and then took over the country and declared a state of emergency for more than a year.
Then, condemnation and threats, including from Western countries, followed. U.S. President Biden issued an article condemning the behavior of the Myanmar military on the 1st and threatened to resume sanctions against Myanmar, pressing the Myanmar military to hand over power.
However, the Wall Street Journal of the United States wrote on the 1st, pointing out that although Biden planned to take “appropriate action” after the “coup” in Myanmar, the means of the United States is limited compared with China.
Analysts say that the widespread economic sanctions used by Presidents Bush and Obama will alienate the Burmese people and undermine the public’s attitude towards the West. Moreover, compared with China, the trade between the United States and Myanmar is very small.
Under such circumstances, any action of the United States may have the consequences of Myanmar’s convergence with China, exacerbating tension between China and the United States in the competition for influence in the region.
U.S. sanctions options include expanding human rights sanctions against Myanmar’s military leaders and tracking their international business contacts.
In implementation, the United States had earlier applied the above-mentioned human rights sanctions to Myanmar military leaders, claiming that they were violent against Rohingya Muslims in the country.
Biden said Monday that the United States will work with its partners in the region and around the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar.
He said that the United States had previously abandoned sanctions against Myanmar based on the progress made in the democratic process. But in order to force Myanmar’s leaders to obey, the United States may reimulate a wide range of punishment measures used by previous governments.
The Wall Street Journal said that Myanmar’s “coup” and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention were challenges to the foreign policy of the Biden administration.
U.S. Secretary of State Blincoln once said that part of U.S. foreign policy is based on the desire to give priority to human rights and promote democracy.
The United States may cut foreign aid to Myanmar, especially when it is unclear how the leaders of the “coup” will treat American capital.
Previously, the United States banned the import of financial products from and exporting financial products to Myanmar, and banned American companies and individuals from investing in the country.
If the United States chooses to implement such measures again, they may amplify the effect of sanctions in various ways, such as threatening to impose sanctions on foreign companies that continue to do business with the regime.
According to the information on the website of the United States Agency for International Development, since 2001, the United States Agency for International Development has contributed $175 million to Myanmar, accounting for the majority of the $216 million in assistance provided by the United States to Myanmar.
The most important projects include food aid, electoral assistance and funding for democratic institutions. In fact, the total amount of this aid is only half that the United States has invested $428 million in the Philippines since 2001.
The trade links between the United States and Myanmar are even smaller.
Last 11 months, the United States imported only $969 million of Myanmar products, ranking 70th among all its import countries and regions, the most imported products are clothing and textiles.
In contrast, China has more and more infrastructure, trade and energy projects in Myanmar, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Lucas Myers, an Asia analyst at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, said that China hopes to maintain a pragmatic attitude (on Myanmar) to ensure Myanmar’s stability and protect its strategic business path.
“‘Coup’ usually causes turmoil in Myanmar, which is not what China wants to see,” said Josh Kurlantzick, a senior researcher on Southeast Asia at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
China has more cards to play, and “As far as the Biden administration is concerned, I admit that For them, there are few good choices, and the credibility of democracy in the United States is poor.”
On February 1, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin commented on the current situation in Myanmar that we have noticed what happened in Myanmar and are learning more about the situation.
China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar.
We hope that all parties in Myanmar can properly handle their differences and maintain political and social stability under the constitutional and legal framework.