Sunday, October 28, 2007


Thomas Riggins

Recently I have heard and read a lot of criticism of China for not supporting the sanctions against the military dictatorship in Myanmar that the US tried to get the UN to impose. However, the real purpose of the sanctions was not to target Myanmar but to get at China.

The Chinese want a pipeline across Myanmar to bring oil overland to China so that they can bypass the Straits of Malacca which is presently the route for much of the oil on its way by ship to China. If the US should close the straits it could cripple the Chinese economy. The trans Myanmar pipeline is China's answer.

The sanctions the US proposed to the Security Council called for the suspension of any NEW pipelines for Myanmar but allowed Chevron and Total S.A. [headquarted in Paris, Total is the 4th largest oil company in the world] to continue to operate in the country free of sanctions. Russia, India and Indonesia, among others, were also against the sanctions. The Russian veto would have killed them alone.

The criticism of China is misplaced.

No comments: