BEIJING: India and China can jointly lead efforts to solve the Rohingya crisis by offering humanitarian aid to Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Rakhine state, an article in the state-run media has said.
“Given the interests Beijing and New Delhi share with Myanmar, the two could cooperate in offering humanitarian aid to Rakhine state, assist Bangladesh in resettlement of refugees, enhance economic cooperation with Myanmar,” according to the article in the Global Times.
“… China and India can also promote greater integration of trade and investment in the area, including the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor.”
The exodus of Rohingyas to neighbouring Bangladesh began on August 25 when the Myanmar Army launched an offensive in the region following an attack by Rohingya rebels on multiple government posts.
“As Myanmar’s neighbours, the last thing China and India want is terrorist violence on their doorstep. In the meantime, both countries are well aware of the complexity of the Rakhine ethnic and religious conflict, knowing it will take time for the government to solve such a complex question,” the article stated.
“In terms of economics, there are more reasons for the two to cooperate. China’s investment in Myanmar reached $18.53 billion in January 2017 and the country plays a unique role in Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
“It is impossible for Beijing to remain indifferent. Nor can India’s interests be divorced from peace and stability in a nation (Myanmar) that forms a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia,” the article stated.
“Myanmar, the gateway for New Delhi’s northeastern states to Southeast Asia, is crucial to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar last month, during which the two sides inked a series of economic, trade, defence, energy and strategic agreements, is proof enough.”
The support and sympathy offered by Beijing and New Delhi to Mynamar’s ruling National League for Democracy party over its efforts to deal with the Rohingya crisis was portrayed by the Western media as a “scramble” for influence between China and India, the article said.
“The possibility of the two big countries (China, India) cooperating to help resolve the ethnic conflict in Myanmar went largely unnoticed, it said.