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U.S. and China commerce barbs in Myanmar as South China Sea rift deepens


(Reuters) – China’s embassy in Myanmar on Sunday accused the US of “outrageously smearing” the nation and driving a wedge with its Southeast Asian neighbors over the contested South China Sea and Hong Kong, as tensions mount between the superpowers.Responding to U.S. claims Beijing was undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Chinese language embassy mentioned U.S. businesses overseas had been doing “disgusting issues” to comprise China and had confirmed a “egocentric, hypocritical, contemptible, and ugly face”.America final week hardened its place on the South China Sea, saying it might again nations within the area that problem Beijing’s declare to about 90% of the strategic waterway.In an announcement on Saturday, the U.S. embassy in Yangon referred to as China’s actions within the South China Sea and Hong Kong, the place Beijing has imposed robust new nationwide safety legal guidelines, a part of a “bigger sample to undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors”.The U.S. assertion drew parallels between China’s actions within the South China Sea and Hong Kong with large-scale Chinese language investments tasks in Myanmar that the US warned might turn into debt-traps, together with trafficking of girls from Myanmar to China as brides, and the influx of medication from China into Myanmar.“That is how fashionable sovereignty is usually misplaced – not via dramatic, overt motion, however via a cascade of smaller ones that result in its gradual erosion over time,” the U.S. embassy mentioned.In its rebuke, China mentioned the assertion confirmed a “bitter grapes” angle by the US in direction of “flourishing China-Myanmar relations” and was “one other farce on a world tour by the U.S. authorities to shift the eye on home issues and search egocentric political positive aspects”.“The U.S. ought to first look within the mirror to see whether or not it nonetheless seems to be like a serious nation now,” it mentioned.The Chinese language embassy in Yangon didn’t reply cellphone calls in search of additional remark. The U.S. embassy was not instantly accessible for remark.Story continuesMyanmar has more and more turn into a battleground for affect between the 2 nations since relations between the federal government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the West grew to become strained over its remedy of the Rohingya Muslim minority.Writer and historian Thant Myint-U advised Reuters in an electronic mail though the nation was of negligible financial worth to the rivals, its strategic significance as a bridge between mainland China and the Bay of Bengal was laborious to disregard.”Myanmar’s instincts since independence in 1948 are to attempt to be pals with everybody, nevertheless it’s not clear that is going to stay potential, on this coming interval of more and more febrile superpower rivalry,” he mentioned.”The sheer weight of China’s big industrial revolution subsequent door is already remodeling Myanmar; if multi-billion greenback infrastructure tasks are added to the combination, the border between the 2 nations will turn into more and more troublesome to see,” he mentioned.”It is vital to keep in mind that Myanmar was one of many few nations on this planet the place the final Chilly Warfare led to proxy armed preventing which in flip led to army dictatorship and a long time of self-imposed isolation.”(Modifying by Lincoln Feast.)

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