In his first video message to the population, the incumbent deputy chief of the underground goverment fromed after the coup called for resistance to the coup regime and spoke of revolution. Mahn Win Khaing Than said in his video posted on Facebook on Saturday evening, according to a translation by the AFP agency: “In order to shape a federal democracy that cares about all ethnic brothers who have suffered from various oppressions of the dictatorship for decades, this revolution is an opportunity, to bundle our efforts. “ The 63-year-old Christian from the Karen ethnic group, who was elected to the House of Lords for the National League for Democracy (NLD) by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in November, has been elected deputy head of the underground government by members of both chambers of parliament who have gone into hiding.
Like the other MPs who have not yet been arrested, he is now wanted by the military regime and faces the toughest punishment, including death. The junta has declared the underground parliament CRPH and the counter-government it formed to be illegal and threatens retaliation to anyone who works with them. „We will win the uprising“ „We will never give in to an unjust military, but shape our future with united strength,“ said Mahn Win Khaing Than. Myanmar is currently experiencing its “darkest” time, but the light of the sunrise is near. He urged the people to continue to resist the military government: „We will win this uprising.“ At the end of his speech, he showed the three-finger salute, the symbol of resistance. The symbol of the US movie Hunger Games and the symbol of the Milk Tea Alliance which consists of Hongkong, Taiwan, Thailand and Indian democracy activists and wants to create a anti-Chinese pan- Asian united front against neototalitarian and neocolonialist China.
At least 22 protesters died on Sunday in Yangon’s industrial district of Hlaing Tharyar. There are many Chinese factories there. At least two Chinese and one Taiwanese later burned down. According to the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times, a mob on motorcycles attacked a total of 12 Chinese companies, while other reports said around 30 companies were destroyed or damaged. Industrial district now under military administration The junta placed the district and another district under military administration on Sunday. More quarters were added on Monday, including in Mandalay.
China’s embassy has now called on the junta to protect Chinese factories on the assumption that demonstrators had started fires inside. That cannot be ruled out either. But it could also be a regime’s tactic to press China to side with the coup plotters while at the same time creating a pretext to intensify the repression. In February, 23,000 prisoners were released from the regime. At the time, many speculated that these could possibly be used by the regime to instigate unrest or arson. A tactic that had been used by the military before.
The Global Times now blamed “Western and anti-China forces”, including the Hong Kong democracy movement, for generating anti-Beijing sentiment in Myanmar and possibly being behind the arson attacks. Does the junta want to use anti-Chinese resentment? There were warnings on the Internet on Sunday not to fall into a possible junta trap. This could use anti-Chinese violence and an escalation for itself.
Also because they fear anti-Chinese violence, local Chinese had already demonstrated against the military in their stronghold of Mandalay in February. On Monday, many outraged China’s response to the arson attacks. While Beijing condemned them and called on the military to intervene, China has so far remained silent about the army’s shooting at demonstrators: inside. Many opponents of June therefore see China’s reaction as a one-sided partisanship in favor of the generals. This reinforces the anti-Chinese resentment that already exists. The junta blocked the mobile Internet on Monday for an initially indefinite period. A video video hearing of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, was therefore canceled.
As a result, there have been almost daily protests in front of the Chinese and Russian embassies in Yangon in recent weeks. China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner, largest arms supplier and second largest foreign investor. Beijing’s media only described the coup as a „major government reshuffle“. Myanmar is strategically and economically important for the People’s Republic, the latter for raw materials and as a sales market. Chinese oil and gas pipelines run from Yunnan in southern China through Myanmar to the Indian Ocean. Beijing had already supported the former military junta internationally and, with its trade, undermined Western sanctions.
But China also had good relations with the government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, which was now disempowered by the coup. Beijing cadres reportedly despise Myanmar’s generals. The Chinese did better business when the economy flourished under Aung San Suu Kyi. They are now primarily interested in stability; democracy in Myanmar is not attractive to them. And Beijing has already warned Western countries not to interfere there. Aung San Suu Kyi had a good relationship with Beijing In 2011, of all things, the former military government stopped the construction of the controversial Myitsone Dam in northern Kachin State, which was financed by China. Myanmar’s nationalist generals need China’s international protection but don’t want to become even more dependent on Beijing.
Now the protests in front of its representation in Yangon as well as calls to boycott Chinese goods have worried China. Ambassador Chein Hai therefore stated that developments in Myanmar are not “what we want to see”. China also congratulated Aung San Suu Kyi on her party’s election victory in November. But the military justified its coup with alleged electoral irregularities. Beijing is now worried about its investments too, and in a letter leaked at the end of February demanded stronger protection of its pipelines from the junta. This led to a contercomment of the Burmese democratic movement that possible damage to the Chinese pipelines and the New Silkroad was an „internal matter“ of Burma after all.