Monday, February 2, 2015

Myanmar must snub West’s rabble-rousing

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-27 0:18:01

The New York Times on Saturday published a vitriolic editorial lashing out at China. The piece claimed that China is unleashing "a wholesale looting of Myanmar's valuable natural resources" in the form of "outright theft" and "crony capitalism." It enumerated the devastating damage China has made to Myanmar's resources such as cutting down rosewood and smuggling wild animals. It also blamed China for the death of one local villager in a recent protest against the Chinese-backed Letpadaung copper mine. The editorial, in conclusion, called for a halt to this "plunder" under the name of "the people of Myanmar."

In this editorial, China is portrayed as a hooligan who played on Myanmar's ignorance, while the US elites were impartial and upheld justice for those weak nations. For a long time, Western public opinion has characterized China's economic activities in other developing countries as exploitative for resources. The West may believe China is as greedy as their ancestors were, who traded slaves and stripped as much wealth from their colonies as they could.

The activities of some Chinese dealers in Myanmar are problematic. However, it's worth noting that the Chinese government is firmly against any illicit acts such as destructive mining, wildlife trafficking and illegal timber sales. It takes a particularly harsh attitude against drug trafficking. There is no correlation between the immoral performance of a minority of Chinese and China's Myanmar policy. By confounding the two, the New York Times deliberately intends to disseminate hostility against China in Myanmar society.

The New York Times emphasized human rights in its editorial. However, it is US sanctions against Myanmar over the past decades that made the once bountiful country fall into backwardness and lose its material guarantee for human rights. The editorial board of the New York Times is supposed to well understand how Western countries built their prosperity upon exploitation of the Third World. Those countries were impoverished by centuries of colonial rule. Until now, some Westerners still treat the Third World in a superior manner. The New York Times, preaching like a savior in its editorial, told Myanmar to distance itself from China, in an attempt to drive a wedge between China and Myanmar.

Even opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed regret over the resistance against Chinese-invested projects such as the Letpadaung copper mine. The Western media has played a bad role in messing up Chinese investments in Myanmar. China and Myanmar need to address their trade problems with sincerity, which requires Myanmar to keep alert to this Western rabble-rousing. Institutions like the New York Times consider Myanmar as a pawn. They don't care about Myanmar's progress but rather how the country will help to drag China down. As long as Myanmar stays independent, it will see through the tricks of Western media such as the New York Times.