China Campaigning Against International Probe of Possible War Crimes in Burma By Colum Lynch Oct. 25 (Washington Post) -- The Chinese government has launched a high-octane diplomatic campaign during the past two months aimed at thwarting the Obama administration's plan to back an international probe into possible war crimes by Burma's military rulers. The Chinese effort - which includes high-level lobbying of top U.N. officials and European and Asian governments - has taken the steam out of the U.S. initiative, which was designed to raise the political costs to Burma's military junta for failing to open its Nov. 7 elections to the country's political opposition. A senior U.S. official was pessimistic about the current prospects for securing international support for a war crimes probe and made it clear that Washington had no immediate plans to introduce a proposal to establish one. "We have been and continue
Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became the first Indian head of state in 25 years to make a visit to Myanmar (formerly Burma), the eastern neighbor that has for 50 years been ruled by a repressive military junta. The visit was both a welcome gesture of reconnection and a reminder of a wasted half-century in relations between two newly independent states (Burma was decolonized in 1948, a year after India) that share a border of more 1,500 kilometers (900 miles).
The U.S. government loosened a ban on American investments in Myanmar in the strongest acknowledgment yet of the political and economic transformation put in motion by a new government of former army generals.