Fri 30 Sep 2005
Filed under: News,Regional
September 29: The relationship between Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the government of China might not be as good as before, a Bangkok-based diplomat told DVB.
The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that there had been two obvious signs of the deteriorating relationship between the two sides, and the first being Beijing’s failure to invite representatives of the junta to observe a major military exercise which was held on 27 September.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held a military exercise named North Sword – 2005 at Zuyihaw? Military Base in the Mongolian region of northern China. Military experts and observers from 24 countries including United States, Britain, EU countries and Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, were invited to witness the event. But it was extraordinary that China’s ‘closest’ ally the SPDC was not invited, the diplomat noted.
During a military exercise named Iron Fist 2004, Beijing only invited Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members including Burma and no western country was invited to witness the event.
The diplomat also pointed out that the SPDC minister Gen Soe Win had to cancel a scheduled trip to China in August. Although the exact reason of the cancellation is not known, there could be some points that Beijing doesn’t like about the junta, the diplomat added.
DVB attempted to confirm the observations of the diplomat by contacting the Burmese and Chinese officials concerned but no independent confirmation was forthcoming from either side.