Political instability and human rights violation

In terms of Burmese economy, somehow the military forces had contributed to the problem of poverty in Burma. It is undeniable that political instability can greatly affect the economy of a country. We can describe their relationship as having domino effect to each other. When a country is undergoing political crisis, it follows that investors will lose their interest to invest in that country. As the national economic encyclopedia says: Politically and economically, Burma remains a pariah (outcast) nation. Except for its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the country is not befriended by most nations.

In May 2000, U. S. president Bill Clinton imposed new sanctions on the military junta (a group of military personnel who overthrow a government) making it difficult for the Burmese authorities to get foreign loans, economic assistance, and foreign investments. Many American companies such as Apple Computer, Oshkosh B'Gosh, Eddie Bauer, Reebok, Levi Strauss, Pepsi Cola, and Liz Claiborne have withdrawn from the country. Another contribution of their military government is their oil price hike which makes the Burmese people suffers even more.

In 1987, Burma's then-military ruler General Ne Win ordered a devaluation of the currency, which cut deeply into the pockets of ordinary Burmese. This year, another military government ordered a 500 percent rise in fuel prices, creating more economic hardship. Another factor that affects Burmese economy is prevalent human rights violation. This cause embargos from other countries as a form of protest towards Burma’s military government. As the national economic encyclopedia says: During the 1998-99 fiscal year, Burma received an estimated US$99 million in economic aid. In 1995, the figure was about US$157 million.

Economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Community, and other nations have contributed to this decline. These sanctions are in response to continued political repression and human rights violations by the military regime. Here we can see how much the current Burmese government affects the lives of ordinary people through economic hardships. While ordinary Burmese citizens suffer from financial difficulties, their officials are enjoying the privilege of good life. Although Burma’s economy are experiencing some hardships, still its per capita income is calculated at 175$ a year.

It only means that only the government officials who are enjoying their economic gains. The latest evidence was a video of the recent opulent wedding of Than Shwe's daughter, Thandar Shwe. The video, which was leaked to a Web site based in Thailand, Irrawaddy. org, showed the bride, with her father alongside, decked out in a necklace of six ropes of large diamonds, her hair looped with diamonds. From the situation of Burma today, we can conclude that their military government had a negative impact on their politics, economy and even to the lives of ordinary people.

Because of the current situation of their country, they became a perfect representation of a political instability and human rights violation. On the other hand, the military rule in China became a necessity for the political security of their country. We can’t deny the fact that China has been exploited by Europeans nations as well as the neighboring Japan. After they lost the Opium war, China has suffered a lot that why People’s Republic of China (PRC) developed their military power as well as their communist economy. Another tragic instance that brought shame to China was their defeat from their war against the Japanese.

World War II began in Asia on July 7, 1937, when Japanese troops attacked Chinese soldiers at the Marco Polo Bridge, near Peking in North China. This was the first move of a carefully calculated plan of conquest by which the Japanese intended to establish what they called “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. What they really meant by these high sounding words was the expansion of a strengthened Japanese Empire to include China and other lands of eastern and southern Asia. Another thing is that, China is also threatened by other neighboring countries. As Gerald Segal and William Tow mentioned in their book:

China, like the Soviet Union, is largely surrounded by hostile communist states. In fact this basic assessment of the source and nature of the threat is as important for the study of Chinese defense policy as is the extent of the readiness of the PLA. China’s increasing assurance about its defense position stems as much from its new confidence in the PLA as from an assessment that China is now less threatened than before. When Mao Zedong came to power and lead the Cultural Revolution, they promised to themselves that they will never allow the capitalist Westerners to exploit their country.

As consequence, China poses the world’s largest military and the third largest nuclear arsenal. This was supported by John Pollack in his book which says: China’s vulnerability to the imperialist penetration was viewed principally in the terms of technological proficiency and organizational readiness of Western Armed Forces. For twentieth century leaders, the development of military strength was essential to both China’s survival as a political entity and the autonomy of various contenders for power within a fluid and insecure political environment.