Friday, September 28, 2007

China's Great Big Olympic Worry

It's difficult to tell what's going to happen next in Myanmar, the country just about everyone still knows as Burma. The bloodshed of the last couple of days has led to an easing of the pro-democracy/anti-regime protests, but they're still continuing, as the demonstrators rightly ask the military rulers for a fairer shake of things.

What does happen next depends largely on China. It's got more influence over the junta in Rangoon than any other country, and is currently annoying other countries at the UN by refusing to back a Security Council statement criticising Burma. With the Olympics less than a year away, China's desperate to avoid a Tiananmen Square style massacre on its borders. That would really bugger up China's hopes of using the Games to show the world what a great place it is. Don't be surprised if behind-the-scenes pressure from the Chinese takes the sting out of the military's response to the protests in Burma. That could also make some kind of process of reconciliation a bit more likely to happen, which would be good for everybody.

No comments: