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Article

16 Jan 2022

Author:
Raquel Carvalho, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Myanmar: Experts and advocates urge Chinese companies to cease mine investments amid escalating violence

"Chinese companies urged to cease Myanmar mines investments amid escalating violence" 16 January 2022

Chinese mining companies are facing calls to take a more responsible approach and pull out their investment from Myanmar, amid an increase in human rights abuses and civilian deaths since the military took power about a year ago.

The push from experts and advocates came after a recent report by Publish What You Pay Australia showed the junta raked in an estimated US$725 million in revenues from Chinese-run mines during the 2020-2021 financial year.

“The mining sector is a very lucrative one for the junta in terms of revenues and royalty payments,” said Clancy Moore, national director of Publish What You Pay Australia, which is part of an international coalition advocating for transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.

“Given the junta’s lack of money and lack of foreign currency, we think that there is a strong chance that the revenues from mining could be used for weapons and hardware, which is being used against the people of Myanmar.”

Moore added that “the role of the Chinese regime is significant” because “they are the biggest player in the mining sector”.

The three largest mines in the Southeast Asian nation are run by Chinese state-owned enterprises. [...]

The Publish What You Pay Australia report, released last November, predicted that the military’s main sources of revenue will increasingly depend on the country’s natural resources, such as oil and gas, gemstones and metals mining.

The findings were based on multiple sources, including both leaked and public documents. The research took into consideration different factors like projection of royalties, corporate income tax and production rates. [...]

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