|The Star 2 December 2011|
I sincerely doubt Myanmar will come up with really meaningful reforms. Some more cosmetic changes here and there, just enough to hold Clinton to her words, for sure.
What has Myanmar done to deserve America's sudden interest? Everyone knows that the changes the Myanmar regime has put in place are just cosmetic. Everyone knows that the Myanmar government is only nominally civilian but that the real power behind is still the military (junta).
If the Myanmar regime is serious about change, they should release all the political detainees, allow political parties to be registered without restrictions, hold a clean and fair general election where anyone interested is allowed to contest and honour the result of the election.
What I suspect and am concerned about is that America's sudden interest in Myanmar is to counter balance China's perceived increasing global influence.
China is fast becoming a favourite punching bag of the west especially of America, for the financial ills of the world. I am not all for China, but I do think blaming everything on China is really laughable.
If indeed America's sudden interest in Myanmar is motivated by the desire to put China in its place, then I think this is dis-ingenious as it will encourage smart rogue nations to court American aid and recognition with minimal or meaningless cosmetics changes.