Australia-Myanmar coup Biden faces first diplomatic challenge | Australia Chinatown

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The Myanmar military launched a coup d'etat in the early morning of Monday (February 2), throwing out the first major foreign policy challenge to the newly appointed US President Biden.Myanmar. . .
            缅甸军方在周一(2月1日)凌晨发动政变,给刚刚上任的美国总统拜登抛出其外交政策的第一个重大挑战。

缅甸军方周一拘押了国务资政昂山素季和其他执政党高级官员,并宣布缅甸国防军总司令敏昂莱(Min Aung
Hlaing)将在接下来一年的时间内接管国家。

美国总统拜登周一发表声明,称军变是对缅甸民主进程的直接攻击。相比之下,中国并没有对缅甸军方提出批评。中国外交部发言人汪文斌周一在例行记者会上说,中国“注意到”缅甸的情况,“正在进一步了解情况”。

How to interpret the very different reactions of the United States and China to the Burmese army?What action should the Biden administration take?How will the current situation in Myanmar affect Biden's Asian strategy?We interviewed four senior Southeast Asian experts to answer these questions for you.

U.S.-China wrestling in Asia

美国在亚洲的一个主要战略是集结民主国家来维护一个自由开放的亚太地区,以应对北京在该地区咄咄逼人的外交态势。
然而纵观目前亚太地区国家的反应,大多数国家采取了与北京相似的论调。

The governments of Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines followed China’s response on Monday, saying that Myanmar’s current situation is part of its internal affairs.

Indonesia, the largest democracy in Southeast Asia, issued a statement on Monday calling on all parties in Myanmar to "remain restraint." "We emphasize that all parties to the election should resolve their differences under the existing legal mechanism," said its Foreign Ministry.

The Singaporean government issued a statement expressing "extreme concern" about the current situation in Myanmar and calling on all parties to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia stated that it "continues to support Myanmar's democratic transformation."

曾在中国和越南执教数年的美国经济学者克里斯·鲍尔丁(Chris Balding)
对美国之音说,这反映了该区域的一些国家日益向中国靠拢。

"If you look at the statements of Thailand, Cambodia and other countries, their wording is exactly the same as that of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, especially when it comes to the word'non-interference in other countries' internal affairs'," he said, "I think these words are not accidental. This shows that these countries are moving closer to China in the diplomatic field."

拜登的首个外交挑战

In the face of sudden military changes, the international community set its sights on the newly appointed Biden administration to observe how it responded to the first major diplomatic challenge.Economic sanctions are currently the most popular strategic means.

The White House issued a statement on Monday, pointing out that the United States lifted sanctions on Myanmar after it began the democratic process. "Myanmar's democratic process is going backwards, and the United States must immediately re-examine the sanctions laws and take appropriate measures," the statement said.

与此同时,拜登政府在美国国内也面临迅速采取行动的压力。参议院外交关系委员会民主党领袖梅嫩德斯(Bob
Menendez)呼吁美国和其他国家对缅甸军方领导人采取“严格的经济制裁”。

"For the people of Myanmar who have worked hard for 10 years to establish a democratically elected government, this coup is a tragedy," Menendez said in a statement.

参议院少数党领袖麦康奈尔(Mitch
McConnell)呼吁拜登政府“支持缅甸人民的民主进程,并让那些阻碍这一进程的人付出代价”。众议院情报委员会主席希夫(Adam
Schiff)也呼吁对此次政变负有责任的缅甸高级军事将领施加制裁。

澳大利亚国立大学(Australian National University)研究员亨特·马斯顿(Hunter
Marston)对美国之音说,拜登政府内由国务卿布林肯领导的一批人将人权和民主放在了拜登外交政策的核心。

"Myanmar will become a real test to see if they want to uphold the values ​​of democracy and human rights, or focus on geopolitics to compete with rival China," he said.

美国智库史汀生中心(Stimson
Center)的中国项目主任,外交与安全政策专家孙韵对美国之音说,此次政变给拜登外交政策提出了一个“急迫问题”,需要拜登政府迅速地拿出一条有效的方案。

"What we are seeing now, whether it is the statement of the embassy or the statement of the White House, condemning the military coup is beyond doubt. It is acceptable to expect the military to release people. But if we still expect the military to take the initiative. To reverse their decision, the possibility now seems to be getting smaller and smaller," she said.

She believes that the Myanmar military has a long history of wanting to launch a coup, and the possibility of wanting to change their thinking is almost slim. "In this case, we need to take a principled stand. Since they have done so, then we need to take punitive measures," she added.

Next, she believes that the Biden administration needs to come up with a set of solutions and solutions, which not only expresses its position, but also takes into account the political future of the leader of the Myanmar Democratic League.

Marston believes that the United States will quickly implement targeted sanctions.

"I think we might see the Biden administration expand the existing sanctions that only target military generals," Marston told VOA. "I don't think it may return to the original comprehensive sanctions. But the Biden administration In the process, it will be assessed whether there is room for negotiation or compromise with the Myanmar military, and then broader sanctions will be considered."

Balding, professor of economics, said that sanctions are necessary, but the real effects of sanctions are limited.

"Compared with other countries, the United States can sanction their leadership and their family members or the interests of various interest groups in the United States. The United States does not have much sanctions against Myanmar," he said. Unlike China or some other countries, you can easily find those people’s assets or business interests in the United States."

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