U.S. Representative Ed Royce

39th District of California
 

Royce Statement on Secretary of State’s Visit to Burma

“U.S. outreach must produce tangible change," says Royce

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Washington, Nov 28, 2011 | comments
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and a senior member of the Asia Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the eve of Secretary of State Clinton’s landmark visit to Burma:
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Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and a senior member of the Asia Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the eve of Secretary of State Clinton’s landmark visit to Burma:

"Burma’s rulers have traded their military uniforms for suits and ties. There have been some minor signs of progress in a country that for decades has been one of the most repressive on the planet.

"But it was only a few years ago when Burma’s military junta refused U.S. aid for the victims of Cyclone Nargis, as some 150,000 Burmese died. I wonder how much has changed in three years?

"While Burma’s leaders have spoken of reform, we must see tangible change. By making this trip, Secretary Clinton now has an obligation to truly test whether Burma’s regime is willing to develop a democratic political system, free political prisoners, and protect basic human rights.

"Any stepped-up U.S. engagement with Burmese leaders should be far outweighed by our engagement with civil society leaders and the Burmese people through Radio Free Asia broadcasts and other programs. It's them who will form the backbone of any productive relationship with the U.S., not brutal and corrupt generals.

"Tangible change would see the regime pull back the veil of secrecy that has characterized Burma’s relationship with North Korea. There have been too many reports that Burma has increased its military cooperation with North Korea, possibly on nuclear technologies, as well as on long-range missiles and underground bunkers. I have raised this with the Obama Administration officials and would expect that this important national security issue take high priority in the Secretary’s discussions."

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