It was no surprise when the Burmese government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its primary newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, denounced Taiwan’s attempt to join the United Nations as a separate country. According to DPA:
‘The Union of Myanmar is of the view that Taiwan’s push for referendum on joining UN would raise tension in Taiwan cross-Straits relations and jeopardize the peace and stability in the region,’ said the foreign ministry in a statement published in The New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece.
‘Myanmar, therefore, opposes the Taiwan’s UN membership bid under any appellation,’ it added.
Although these are just words, I believe that this violates the five principles of a joint Burma-China declaration made on June 29, 1954:
- Mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity
- Mutual non-aggression
- Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful existence
And is this even Burma’s business? After all, the Burmese government has repeatedly told Western nations like the United States to stop interfering in its ‘internal affairs.’ The Chinese Foreign Ministry, after Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest was extended for another year, posted the following on its website:
The Aung San Suu Kyi matter is Myanmar’s internal affair. […] The Chinese side hopes to see Myanmar maintain political stability and continue to make progress in the process of national reconciliation.”
The Burmese government is hypocritical. Burmese foreign minister Nyan Win:
warned against outside interference in Myanmar’s democratic transition process during a briefing at the annual meeting of foreign ministers from the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) dialogue grouping in Kyoto earlier this month.
–Myanmar Times, May 16, 2005 issue
And as I recall earlier this year, after the U.S.-proposed U.N. Security Council resolution against Burma, tens of articles in the New Light of Myanmar were devoted to condemning the United States and other nations that voted for the resolution. My, have the tables turned.
But Burma’s condemnation of Taiwan’s bid to apply for membership as a separate country from the People’s Republic of China could also have roots during World War II, when thousands of Kuomintang troops that had been expelled from China by the Communist army invaded Burma through the China-Burma borders.