N.B Chyoi / July 16, 2021
China has shut it’s land border at Khunjerab (China-Pakistan border) and Ruili-Muse (China-Burma border) due to COVID-19 pandemic in the last quarter of 2020. It is ridiculous that the country which had developed “Corona Virus” in her labs in Wuhan is now scared of her own baby to the extent, compelling to close it’s borders with strategic partners; Burma and Pakistan.
Another interesting fact is that China is allowing exports only from her mainland but restricting import from Burma or Pakistan. Burma and Pakistan have been close allies of China since decades and both countries hold partnership in execution of China’s mega project under Belt & Road initiatives (BRI) under China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) respectively.
Chinese transporters are dropping the stuff at the entry gates from where the transporters are ordered to pick up the imported items. The items which were used to be exported from Pakistan/Burma to China via land routes have come to complete halt and this has altered the balance of trade. Due to drying up of exports in Pakistan and Burma, there has been increase in unemployment and lives and livelihood of local population in both countries is having tough time.
In the past, there have been series of protests in Pakistan or Burma from where CPEC or CMEC passes through but business has to go on. It hardly matters to regime how these projects affects the masses or perceived by locals as the will of the political bosses must prevail. International Environmental NGOs raised concerns about the ecological damage due to CPEC and CMEC but Chinese managed to get them cleared perhaps they negotiated well and know the price tags of the people involved.
China’s Economic Cooperation anywhere in the world comes as a “Composite Package” of debt trap, human trafficking, cultural invasion, casinos/bars and other intrusions. There have been cases in Pakistan where young poor Muslims girls were trafficked into China on the pretext of marriages or employment and similar practices are prevalent in Burma where innocent and poor ethnic girls are being pushed into prostitution and surrogacy. NGOs had raised the voices but the system is deaf to such concerns.
Another feature of Chinese is to create hubs or colonies exclusively for them like China Towns in Africa or Chinese Localities in Mandalay in Burma indicating that they have come for long or perhaps to assimilate into the society. Chinese cuisine is quite popular across the globe, so they knows ways. Computers and mobiles manufacturing and software development have equipped them further, so cyber frauds or hacking are their new ventures and they have been successful in siphoning off sensitive data of financial or defence institutions of rival countries.
N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.
The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.