76th United Nations’ General AssemblyAccording to Foreign Policy “The United States and China have brokered an agreement that will effectively block Myanmar’s military rulers from addressing the United Nations’ General Assembly next week, according to diplomats, dealing a blow to the junta’s quest for international legitimacy after it took power in a coup earlier this year”.
“But the pact […] will require Myanmar’s defiant, still serving UN’s ambassador who represents the previous government to hold his tongue during the high-level event”
My thoughts (for what is worth) on the deal (if true, Foreign Policy’s takes on Myanmar have been questionable at times):
1) This has always been the most likely outcome. On one side it is a blow to the military regime, but it’s momentary. The decision is delayed until November, and the Junta could still be recognized.
2) On the other side, the deal actually blocks both factions, preventing U Kyaw Moe Tun from speaking out during this UNGA. China probably believes that keeping a low profile will help talks behind closed doors.
3) While the United States’ position on the coup is clear, China is keeping all doors open. It cares about its own investments in the country and wants stability and to keep a good relationship with whoever comes on top (remember, relations were good during the NLD era). Few weeks ago, it requested the Junta not to dissolve NLD and even held a meeting with it involved. What’s interesting is that China is not fully committed to the Junta. China is not sure Min Aung Hlaing will ever gain full control of the country and serve its interests.
4) Where is ASEAN? ASEAN has been incredibly ineffective to a comical degree at times. Its action so far have been actually (unsurprisingly) supporting the military regime. Obviously there has been some efforts behind the scenes, but 7 months with no results speak volumes. What does the US-China deal mean for the next couple of months? Will they really still let ASEAN lead the diplomatic effort, or will other powers take more of a leading role (it’s actually already happening) ?
5) The situation in Myanmar is turning more violent, and the current political situation is putting more pressure on the military regime. Whether this will result in some concessions (like finally implementing the 5 ASEAN point consensus) is yet to be seen.
So yeah, it’s not great news, but it’s not bad news. This is probably not going to change the incredibly difficult situation for people in Myanmar right now.
But the real question is…What is international diplomacy going to do in these two months regarding Myanmar?