India, China in race to host Suu Kyi

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by JAYRAM, Apr 16, 2012.


    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Mar 8, 2011
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    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Indrani Bagchi, TNN Apr 15, 2012, 05.07AM IST

    NEW DELHI: Fresh from her election to Myanmar's parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi is in great demand - both in India and China.

    Both the Asian giants, deeply engaged with the military regime in Naypyidaw have also been first off the block to issue invitations to Suu Kyi to visit. All eyes are on which nation she chooses to visit first.

    While Suu Kyi has traditional links with India - her mother was ambassador to India and she herself studied here at the Jesus and Mary Convent School and Lady Shri Ram College - sources said she would take into consideration that China has an overwhelming influence on the fate and fortunes of Myanmar.

    In 1992, Suu Kyi was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, an event that was followed by a period of frozen ties with the military junta, known as SLORC.

    It took India several years to reopen ties with Myanmar , during which successive Indian governments took a more realistic approach to dealing with the reclusive country.

    Over the next decade and half, India struggled to build ties with the Myanmar government and the country, to the extent that New Delhi came under severe Western criticism for maintaining close ties with the military regime. While India has achieved a "balance" of sorts in Myanmar, China's influence is far bigger.

    Most importantly, unlike India, China can still cause enough mischief in Myanmar's internal politics for Naypyidaw to keep Beijing in good humour. Some of the ethnic groups with which the Myanmar government is cutting deals have militias funded by China. China is worried as the West moves into a Myanmar that is undergoing reforms. Some Karen territories and some Kachin areas are still solidly pro-China , leading many to worry about the threat of blowback to reform. An unsettled China could have a similar effect on a section of hardliners within the ruling establishment, who might feel that they are losing control.

    Indian strategists understand this. Hence, New Delhi will have no hard feelings, if Suu Kyi chooses to grace Beijing with her first international visit. Besides, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will still be one of the first heads of government to travel to Yangon after this month's elections.

    India, China in race to host Suu Kyi - Times Of India

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