The military takeover in Myanmar and the imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi were “a major cabinet reshuffle,” according to Chinese state media, which introduced the euphemisms to avoid calling a coup a coup.
When democratic leaders around the world beat up the Burmese military and President Joe Biden said the US would “take note” of those who stand up for Myanmar’s people, China’s communist leadership took a gentle approach.
Beijing urged all parties in Myanmar to “settle their differences,” and the official Xinhua news agency called the military, which replaced elected ministers after the coup, a “major cabinet reshuffle”.
Meanwhile, the nationalist Global Times quoted nameless experts as saying that the takeover of power by the generals could be seen as “an adaptation to the country’s dysfunctional power structure”.
But the newspaper – known for its fiery comments against China’s critics – also took the opportunity to address former US President Donald Trump, whose combative stance towards Beijing had brought US-China relations to the lowest level in decades.
“Some experts mentioned that … Trump, who refused to admit his electoral defeat and allegedly sparked the unrest in the Capitol, may be the inspiration for the Myanmar military,” he wrote.
Beijing has long denied what it sees as interference in its “internal affairs” – such as criticism of its human rights record – and has taken a similarly neutral stance on most foreign affairs.
Myanmar is also an important part of Beijing’s major belt and road infrastructure initiative.
President Xi Jinping visited the country last January and pledged to support the Myanmar government on a development path that “suits its own national conditions”.
Biden has called for the rapid restoration of democracy in Myanmar, while the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the European Union and Australia, among others, condemned the coup.
The Myanmar military justified its seizure of power on charges of widespread fraud in elections three months ago won by the NLD in a landslide. She declared a state of emergency for a year and claims she would then hold new elections.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)