28 Jan China raps ‘distorted’ New York Times Myanmar editorial

Written by Mizzima Published in Natural Resources Read 3940 times
Chinese workers of Wanbao copper mine at the copper mine in Sarlingyi township in Monywa, Sagaing Division in Myanmar on May 23, 2014. Photo: Bo Bo/Mizzima
Chinese workers of Wanbao copper mine at the copper mine in Sarlingyi township in Monywa, Sagaing Division in Myanmar on May 23, 2014. Photo: Bo Bo/Mizzima

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Ms Hua Chunying called a New York Times editorial, entitled "The plunder of Myanmar," a distortion of the facts, according to a report in Xinhua on January 27.

The New York Times editorial published on January 23 said China was responsible for the wholesale looting of Myanmar's natural resources.

"We firmly disagree with the editorial," Ms Hua said, adding the article maliciously provoked strife between China and Myanmar.

China was plundering Myanmar, according to the US newspaper.

“China’s exploding appetites have unleashed a wholesale looting of Myanmar’s valuable natural resources. While this often involves outright theft, it also comes in the form of crony capitalism. Myanmar’s military elite has deals with Chinese companies that are eager to exploit the land, with little concern for the environment or people. The Kachin Independence Army, a rebel group that controls part of northeastern Myanmar, also takes a cut of some of this trade with China, especially jade hacked out of the earth by impoverished, heroin-addicted laborers,” the New York Times editorial says.

The newspaper notes the illegal trade in rosewood and tiger parts, claiming "the people of Myanmar want this plunder stopped." It says the country needs foreign investment that is respectful of human rights and the environment.

Ms Hua said China has always been opposed to illegal logging, illegal mining and illegal wildlife trade.

"We are committed to strengthening cooperation with our neighbours, including Myanmar, to tackle illegal activities, protect natural environment and safeguard the stability of border areas," she told Xinhua, China’s official press agency.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said China has always required Chinese nationals and enterprises abroad to abide by local laws and regulations, protect the environment and bring benefits to local people.

But Ms Hua herself told media on January 21 that 155 Chinese had been detained in Myanmar’s Kachin State for what U Zaw Htay, presidential spokesperson told AFP was inline “with immigration acts and forestry laws."

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:52