Myanmar Protesters Denounce China’s “Hidden Hand” In Propping Up Junta
There’s increasing suspicion that China had a “hidden hand” in Myanmar’s coup d’etat which kicked off Feb.1 upon the arrest and detention of the country’s civilian leadership.
The substantial rumors that Beijing assisted in the military coup that’s plunged its southeast Asian neighbor into unrest – with a near total internet blackout and armored vehicles patrolling the streets – have grown to the point that it prompted a formal denial from China’s ambassador to Myanmar.
Ambassador Chen Hai early this week responded to growing pro-democracy protests that have formed outside the Chinese embassy in the city Yangon. It a written public statement the ambassador claimed to have had no “prior knowledge” of the coup, further saying that allegations of Communist China’s assisting in setting up a telecommunications firewall in cooperation with military coup forces are “laughable”.
“We have friendly relations with both the NLD and the military. The current situation is absolutely not what China wants to see,” Chen added.
As an example of the growing allegations that see Chinese ‘interference’ all over the worsening Myanmar situation, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are circulating assessments like the following.
Credible sources revealed that the Myanmar military government is receiving “technical support” from the CCP to build similar internet firewalls to block access to Twitter, NYT, FB etc. The internet cutoff serves this need. Dictators help each other and CCP is leading the way.
Indeed there should be ways that US-based tech and social media giants can verify this, though companies like Google have long had a suspiciously cozy relationship with Chinese Communist authorities.
Anti-China protesters through the region are pointing the finger at Beijing for this month’s rapidly moving Myanmar events…
We can all ask our friends in telecom industry to verify it. It’s important that we can have information on what’s happening in there and try to act in advance to protect citizens there. It’s a long process to build an internet firewall — the free world should act immediately.
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 (@nathanlawkc) February 15, 2021
Current widespread internet outages and blockages of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter appear geared toward preempting the growing anti-coup demonstrations, which in the past days have seen tens of thousands hit the streets, and are resulting in increasingly violent clashes with police and military coup forces.
According the latest reporting in The Guardian, “Since a military coup earlier this month, Myanmar has endured five internet blackouts. There have also been blocks on some social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which have been used to generate support for anti-coup protests in the country.”
Meanwhile, amid broad clashes with police, there’s increasing “anti-China” sentiment growing among Myanmar protesters, as India’s Economic Times also observes, “Allegations of Chinese hand in Myanmar coup is growing in salience following massive anti-Beijing protests sweeping across the SE Asian state, India’s key neighbor to the East.”
“Chinese President Xi Jinping has been urged by the protestors not to recognize Myanmar’s military regime and to stand with the people, amid a wave of anti-China sentiment—including boycotts on Chinese products, ET has reliably gathered from sources and activists who did not wish to be identified,” the report underscores further.
Giant protests today against Myanmar’s military coup and to call for the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Protests have happened daily for nearly two weeks now. #WhatsHappeninglnMyanmar pic.twitter.com/UZxUndy12B
— Matthew Tostevin (@TostevinM) February 17, 2021
Despite a near total internet and telecommunications outage across the country sporadic social media videos are in some cases still being posted of large-scale troop and armored vehicle deployments to the streets. Chaotic scenes of blasts and flash-bangs show anti-riot tactics deployed on crowds, but also suggest ‘live fire’ could be happening – though there’s still conflicting reports over whether security forces are using live ammo or rubber bullets.
Wed, 02/17/2021 – 21:45