Acting with the shrewd calculation of a businessman, China volunteered to help halt the ethnic violence plaguing Myanmar out of a genuine fear for its own investments.
In a move that proved both cunningness and moral degradation, the People’s Republic of China volunteered to help stop the ethnic cleaning taking place in Myanmar. The news came as a surprise to many as China has openly supported Myanmar’s actions since the Rohingya crisis began.
The Rohingya issue, which has caused global anxiety for months, began with an attack on a military outpost in Myanmar. The attack was staged by a group of Rohingya rebels who were tired of the ill treatment feted out to their people.
In the past, the Myanmar government has failed to recognize the Rohingyas as formal citizens of the country. As such, they are treated as outsiders and dubbed as “Bengalis” by the remainder of the population.
The group has been ostracized and mistreated to the point that the government even refuses to issue birth certificates to Rohingya newborns. When the Rohingyas finally retaliated to the abuse, they were greeted with the wrath of the country’s military.
The ensuing conflict has resulted a mass exodus, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Over 500,000 Rohingyas have fled their homes in Rakhine state to make their way to the neighbor, Bangladesh. They now live as refugees in large sprawling camps on the Bangladesh border.
The United Nations has already stated that the situation has become the worst refugee crisis the world has ever seen in recent times. It has also ordered the Myanmar government to facilitate the re-entry of the Rohingyas and directed them to offer group citizenship.
Since the crisis began, a number of countries have spoken out against Myanmar’s reaction to the issue and have alternately pleaded and demanded that the country take back the Rohingyas.
However, others, like China have openly declared their support for Myanmar’s actions—until now.
China’s change of heart can be attributed to a major investment made in the town of Kyaukpyu. Kyaukpyu, located in the volatile Rakhine state contains a $7.3 billion sea port, not to mention major oil and gas pipelines.
China has already signed a deal to connect these major lines to China’s Yunnan province, and send the resources to its $ 2.3 billion industrial park.
As such, China’s sudden altruism is nothing more than a thin veil, which barely hides its ulterior, financial motives.