ENEMY OF THE BURMESE

April 2, 2008

ENEMY OF THE STATE

 

BY Ethan Bourne (BURMAWATCHUSA  EDITOR)

 

China has been shielding the Burmese generals for more than two decades. In Ne Win’s time Burma had some hard time with China. Today China has been giving the Burmese generals not only military assistance, moral support and interest-free loans but also advice as to how to hold on to power. But Burma has been a bad omen for Big Brother, China who has been running into political dissent in Tibet and China. Once a political violence occurs in Burma, a similar event follows in China. For example, the 1988 uprising occurred in Burma on August 8th 1988 and the Tiananmen Square Uprising (1989) also known as the June Fourth Incident followed the 1988 Uprising in Burma. In September of 2007 the Saffron Uprising occurred in Burma. This month Tibetan monks in Tibet have started to protest against Chinese rule.

 

No matter what, China’s Influence on Burma is going on a daily basis. At the same time China’s growing security and economic ties with Burma have been a growing concern to other Asian countries, which fear that Beijing will use its influence to gain access to Burmese military installations and ports close to the Indian Ocean. The installations include Chinese-supplied radar on Burma’s Coco Islands just north of India’s Andaman Islands and not far from Indonesia. In fact, Beijing is taking advantage of  Rangoon’s isolation to satisfy its own regional power ambitions, especially its desire to counter India in the Indian Ocean. The electronic surveillance facility on the Coco Islands is an ideal location from which to keep an eye on India’s naval operations in the area as well as its ballistic missile tests and satellite launches.

 

Fact is China is quickly becoming one of the world’s largest, most secretive and irresponsible arms exporters. According to Kanwa Defense Review, China has exported two 16 PA6 ship-borne diesel engines to Burma to be fitted on its navy’s indigenous patrol ships according to German sources. The PLA navy’s 054A missile frigate uses four 16 PA6 engines, manufactured by China under license from MAN Diesel. MAN Diesel was originally the SEMT Pielstick Co., under French ownership, but changed its name following restructuring last year. China’s export of these engines will help Burma upgrade its patrol vessels. Since 1998, the Burmese navy has built three Sinmalaik-class patrol vessels, with assistance from China in the design and construction of the vessel hulls. The Sinmalaik-class patrol vessel has a full-load displacement of 1,000 tons and is not fitted with ship-to-ship missiles. The Burmese Navy apparently has plans to develop its own light-duty offshore patrol vessels with China’s assistance, and China’s provision of the 16 PA6 engines is likely related to this plan. Most of the major surface combatants of the Burmese navy were supplied by China, so the navy resembles the PLA navy in many respects. It has acquired Chinese 40-kilometer-range C-801 ship-to-ship missiles along with 037-G high-speed missile patrol boats. The Myanmar navy altogether has four 037-G fast missile boats, which were all delivered between 1995 and 1997. China officially issued an export license for its new C-802A ship-to-ship missiles six months ago, intending to promote sales to South and Southeast Asian countries. The C-802A has a range of 180 kilometers and is a replacement for the earlier C-801 and C-802 SSMs.

Not only the Burmese Navy but also its army and air force are equipped with massive Chinese military equipment. For the past 10 years, China has been the largest supplier of arms to Burma. During the 2007 Saffron Uprising Burmese troops were using Chinese-made Dongfeng trucks and even wearing Chinese helmets. The army has been equipped with more than 100 Chinese T-69-II main battle tanks and 55 new T-90 armored personnel carriers. A Google Earth satellite photo shows that at least two Chinese A5M attackers have been deployed in the northern city of Mandalay, which can be used for assaults on rebels in the northern part of the country. China sold more than 22 A5M attackers and at least 50 F-7 fighters to the Burmese air force in 1991 and 1993. Satellite photos have also shown two Chinese-made Y-8 transporters at the Rangoon airport. Also, 12 Chinese Lang Chang K-8 jet trainer aircraft have been sold to the country in the past seven years. Burma has been told to be a province of China and analysts cannot be blamed for that remark. Burma is buying Chinese arms not to defend itself from foreign aggression but to kill its own people The better the relation between China and Burma grows, the worse the suffering of the people of Burma will become. The people of Burma must realize that China is in fact the enemy of the state, of the people of Burma.

 

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