News / Asia

China Urges Respect for New Burma Government

China has praised Burma’s new government for promoting democracy.  Beijing denounced other countries for criticizing its close neighbor’s new administration, which was sworn in this week.  

Offering China’s congratulations to the new Burma government, which took office Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu was quick to warn other countries not to meddle in its neighbor's internal affairs.

Jiang says Beijing disapproves of those countries which claim the new civilian-led parliament in Burma is merely the old, military-led government in a new guise.

She praised the new administration for what she calls promoting democracy.

The United States has been among the nations which have dismissed the transfer of authority in Burma as a sham. U.S. officials said Wednesday they will continue to push for what they describe as proper reform.

The U.S. and other critics claim that retired and serving military generals from the old government, together with technocrats, are maintaining their tight grip on power. The new president, Thein Sein, is a former general who gave up the uniform just last year to run in widely criticized elections.

China has close political, military and economic ties with Burma and has long been a staunch defender of its close ally.

It has been a strong supporter of the outgoing military government, which ruled Burma since 1988 in what they described as a "disciplined democracy." Burma has been under one form or another of military rule since 1962.

Spokeswoman Jiang Yu says the international community should respect Burma’s democratically elected government. And, she says it should help Burma to move along the path of economic growth and development.

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