How China Fuels Myanmar's Wars

March 4, 2015

Author: Matthew Smith
Published by: New York Times

China’s stance as a benevolent mediator in Myanmar’s ongoing wars and its treatment of asylum seekers is far less altruistic than Beijing cares to admit, writes Fortify Rights executive director Matthew Smith in the New York Times. The Myanmar military has been at war with dozens of ethnic groups for decades, fueled by long-burning animosities, competition over natural resources and minority demands for more autonomy. Kokang fighters, seeking to regain territory lost in 2009, are jockeying for a better position in nationwide cease-fire talks set to resume this month in Yangon. More than 130 soldiers from the Kokang and national armies have been killed in the latest clashes.

China has publicly distanced itself from the Kokang conflict, but Chinese-led development projects have long stoked the ethnic tensions and military conflicts in Myanmar, particularly in recent years.

Read the New York Times op-ed here.