Myanmar: China Buys In

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September 25, 2010: A five day state visit of Burmese leaders to China, which ended on the 11th, resulted in China pledging to back Myanmar and its military dictatorship diplomatically, financially and militarily. Aside from the words of support, China provided an interest free loan of $4.2 billion. Much of this will be spent to buy Chinese goods, including weapons. So far this year, China has invested over $8 billion in Burma, mostly in the oil and natural gas sector. Aside from warming up relations with a neighbor, China is also seeking access to Burmese Indian Ocean ports. This annoys India a great deal.  Communist China has always been on good terms with Burma, but with the growth of the Chinese economy, and the need to protect trade routes across the Indian Ocean, Burma has become much more important.

So far this month, over a dozen bombs have been found in the more populated tribal districts in the south. Most of these bombs were disarmed, although while doing this, a bomb technician lost his leg when the bomb he was working on went off.  The bombs have been found under bridges, in markets and at the base of electricity distribution towers.

September 16, 2010:  The government announced that it would not have voting take place in large portions of the tribal territories up north. This was because of security problems. Aside from that official reason, there was the fact that many tribal leaders had instructed their followers not to participate in the November 7 elections.

September 11, 2010: In the south (Pegu), tribal terrorists set off two bombs, wounding two people.

September 10, 2010: In the south (Mon State) a bomb went off on a electric power pylon, and did some damage.

September 9, 2010: A week ago, drunken brawl in a town north Rangoon ended up in two army officers shooting dead two civilians. At first this was reported as the start of an insurrection, but it wasn't.

September 7, 2010: The military has bought 62 helicopters from Russia (50 Mi-24 gunships and 12 M-2 transports). Burma already has about 20 Mi-2s and ordered ten Mi-24s last year, all to use against tribal rebels in the north.

 

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