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
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."
"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."
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.
"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.
澳大利亚国立大学(Australian National University)研究员亨特·马斯顿(Hunter
"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.
"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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