(TibetanReview.net, Feb16’21) – Thousands of Burmese have been protesting daily in front of the Chinese embassy in Yongon (or Rangoon, the capital of Myanmar, formerly Burma, until 2006) over the past one week as part of their opposition to the Feb 1 military coup in the country, reported the irrawaddy.com Feb 15.
The anti-coup protesters have been angered by Beijing’s defence of the military regime, which called the coup an “internal affair” at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva when the issue was sought to be raised there.
Along with Russia, China also blocked attempts to condemn the military takeover at the UN Security Council. Beijing described the coup as a “major cabinet reshuffle”, sparking young people in Burma to start online campaigns against Chinese products.
The report said the embassy protest was larger on Feb 15 with placards reading, “Shame on you”, “Justice is blind, coup is a crime, China is behind it”, “China breaks our democracy”, “Myanmar’s military dictatorship is made in China” and “China bullies Myanmar”.
“We are mad at China. We are demanding that China stop supporting the military but its support continues,” Ma Su Theingi Htun, a 24-year-old student, was quoted as saying. “We must put pressure China to show the Burmese do not accept the military government. I will keep coming until they understand.”
The report said young protesters stood close to the barricades in the front of the embassy gates, showing placards to CCTV cameras reading: “Support Myanmar, don’t support dictatorship”, “China and Russia secretly help Myanmar’s military, the world must know” and “China takes our resources. Why do you want more?”
China was the closest ally of Myanmar’s military when the country was isolated under the previous military regime for decades. The country is a major supplier of military hardware and technology to the military regime.
China was reported to have helped the military regime this time to build internet firewalls to block online freedom.
The report said that last week, work in the China-backed copper mines in Myanmar’s Monywa Township was suspended after more than 2,000 miners from the Kyisintaung copper mine joined the civil disobedience movement. The Letpadaung Taung copper mine in Sagaing’s Salingyi Township was also reported to have stopped operations after thousands of employees joined the movement.
The 2021 Myanmar coup d’état began on the morning of Feb 1 when State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other leaders of the ruling party were detained by the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military.
The military declared a state of emergency for a period of one year. Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and coup leader Min Aung Hlaing assumed the role of Chairman of the State Administrative Council.