High-ranking U.S. diplomatic officials issued a strong “condemnation” of China’s recent incursion into the borders of Myanmar, after the Asian giant launched a retaliatory attack on some of the rebels in the country formerly known as Burma.
West Point-trained military liaison Travis Cady, issued the statement, stressing that despite the strong belief in “respecting the sovereignty of other nation’s borders” and the fact that the U.S. does “not condone” China’s entry into Myanmar’s territory, the U.S. has “no bellicose intentions. None.”
“We are simply expressing our condemnation of such attacks. We understand that those were retaliatory measures. But 10 kilometers is a significant incursion into another nation’s territory,” Cady said.
The U.S. also unequivocally denies, Cady said, any other nation’s assertion that it has added the Kachin rebels within Burma, or any other rebel group in the Asian nation of 49 million, situated at the crossroads of India, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea. “We don’t want to leave any gray area. We don’t have any physical involvement….aid, succor, funding of any type.” The U.S., has focused, the Southeast Asia specialist said, instead on facilitating talks and in interested in monitoring elections.
Further, Cady said, receiving information from intelligence sources during an interview, U.S. sources have determined that the Burmese Kachin rebel group funded its fight through narcotics sales and “sympathetic parties outside of Burma.” Cady did not elaborate on how those parties might be aligned, whether they were countries, political groups, religions or individuals. Burma is the No. 1 opiate producing nation in the world.
When asked about U.S. humanitarian aid to Burma, USAID representative Portia Watson said that in fact, Americans have held back on providing direct aid to the Burma/NLD group led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Watson said that when she met with Suu Kyi, the leader known as “The Lady” said that the democracy group didn’t want anything for itself in the country but did request assistance for NLD members living in one of the 9 refugee camps on the Thai border.
Watson said that USAID is providing $5.5 million in humanitarian support for NLD refugees in the camp, but has held off on any donation within Burma for fear of destabilizing the country, which was closed to outside trade from 1962-2011.
Watson said that Suu Kyi stressed that she hoped the U.S. role would be more of a of a facilitator and a monitor for the upcoming elections, which are planned for Dec. 19.
Suu Kyi, who may run for office, won her first landslide election in 1989, but was prevented from taking that office by the military junta that ran the country until 2010 and which kept her under house arrest for decades