McConnell Urges Biden Administration & Allies to Respond to Burma Coup
‘The United States and democratic countries around the world are anxiously watching events in Burma. I’ve had an interest in Burma for many years, since I chaired the Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations… The world is watching. I hope and expect the United States will quickly make the obvious legal determination that this is a military coup, and impose significant costs on the military for its attack on democracy.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Burma:
“The United States and democratic countries around the world are anxiously watching events in Burma.
“I’ve had an interest in Burma for many years, since I chaired the Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations.
“Just last November, here on the floor, as I cautiously celebrated Burma’s recent elections, I warned that its military remained a toxic influence and an obstacle to democratic progress.
“And sure enough -- the world was horrified over the weekend when Burma’s military rounded up the country’s civilian political leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society leaders.
“The military was afraid that popular support for the new government would yield the constitutional and economic reforms they’ve long opposed, so they have tried to simply claim control for themselves.
“I spoke with both President Biden and Secretary Blinken yesterday about the situation in Burma.
“The new Administration deserves credit for approaching this situation in a way that’s bipartisan and coordinated with Congress.
“The world is watching. I hope and expect the United States will quickly make the obvious legal determination that this is a military coup, and impose significant costs on the military for its attack on democracy.
“We already have sanctions in place against key military officials. And Congress has already given the executive branch the authorities it needs to swiftly apply even more sanctions to the military and its infiltration into Burma’s economy.
“But we’ll also need the help of our friends and allies to effectively pressure the junta. It is time for freedom-loving nations to stand up for democracy and impose their own meaningful costs on the military junta.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s state news organ dismissively called the events in Burma a ‘major cabinet reshuffle.’ That’s a joke and the free world knows it. This is a military coup and an attack on democracy, plain and simple.
“There are two paths before Burma. It can continue to grow into a modern, democratic country, connected to the global economy… or remain a corrupt, impoverished authoritarian backwater in the shadow of the People’s Republic of China.
“The people of Burma have said which they prefer.
“They’ve spoken at the ballot box.
“The threat of force must not be allowed to silence their choice.”