China’s proactive diplomacy in solving Rohingya crisis

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/3 21:33:39

With no home, no citizenship, no property and nowhere to go, Rohingya refugees are undergoing their own version of Exodus toward Bangladesh. While Western media are busy denouncing the Myanmar government, China is making an effort to help the nation ease the crisis.

During the recent China tour of Myanmar's Minister for the Office of the State, Counselor U Kyaw Tint Swe and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali of Bangladesh met with China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to exchange views over the ethnic conflict and reached common understanding.

Wang noted that China will continue to play a constructive role in helping resolve the crisis through the Beijing-initiated three-phased proposal - realizing an on-site ceasefire, initiating the repatriation process of Rohingya refugees and pushing forward in this region to shake off poverty - enabling both Bangladesh and Myanmar to concentrate their energies on economic development.

The brewing Rohingya crisis, with a growing number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing their homes, has drawn worldwide attention. Western media, when commenting on the Rohingya crisis, can offer no practical solution except for pointing harsh criticism toward the Myanmar government or military. "A textbook example of ethnic cleansing" is a label they often put on the situation.

Yet the complexity of the Rohingya issue goes far beyond the problem of human rights, religious or ethnic conflicts. It stemmed mostly from historical conflicts left by the West's colonialism in the region and the spread of terrorism, which Western media tend to overlook. Setting all causes aside, overly focusing on who is to be blamed is of no help to end the Rohingya tragedy.

The security situation and the development in today's Rakhine are not promising. Given the constant chaos, few foreigners would dare to invest in the region. The poorer, the messier. The Rakhine state has already entered into a vicious circle. Ethnic controversies are harder to be resolved, national reconciliation has also been affected. If this goes on, where is the development of Rakhine and Myanmar headed? These should be real questions that are worth discussing. To answer them, goodwill and practical help are needed, instead of simple finger pointing.

China, in the meantime, is showing its advocacy for diplomacy during the process by proactively promoting the resolution of hotspot issues in its periphery. Many Western media outlets predict that China's diplomacy is turning tougher, however, the biggest change is that China is taking action to make a difference.

On the issue of the Rohingya crisis, China has been calling on the international community to avoid escalating tensions. It does not wish to see the conflict being overly politicized or dragged into games between major powers. China understands that simply piling pressure on Myanmar will only exacerbate the conflicts.

When confronted with a crisis, it is easy to make condescending judgments or sit idle. In Myanmar's case, China has taken a different approach from the West, and a challenging one, by trying to help the country and Rohingya refugees decode the puzzle one step at a time.



 



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