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Security Brief: PACOM Week of December 6, 2021

Week of Monday, December 6, 2021 | Issue 34

Nageshswarup Shukla, PACOM Team

Demonstrators denounce the military coup in Myanmar[1]

Date: December 6, 2021

Location: Naypyidaw, Myanmar

Parties involved: Myanmar; Former State Counselor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi; National League for Democracy (NLD); Myanmar military; The US; European countries; United Nations (UN)

The event: A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to four years of imprisonment after finding her guilty of charges widely seen as politically motivated and sent her to detention at an undisclosed location.[2] The series of charges against her include violation of COVID-19 restrictions, corruption, inciting unrest for a statement calling for public opposition to the coup, along with several other charges.[3] Her supporters allege that all the cases are baseless and are made to end her political career. Various human rights organizations including the UN are condemning the trial and arrest.[4] The Civil Disobedience Movement is a campaign referred to as an act of civil servants pledging not to work under military government, and it gained more track after her arrest.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention will very likely lead to protests by supporters across the nation. The Myanmar military will likely use force in retaliation to the protests which will likely lead to deaths and injury of citizens. The military will likely impose curfews to disrupt the protests, likely affecting the day-to-day activities of civil society.

  • The international condemnation by the US, European countries, and the UN of the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi will likely exert pressure on the military government to release her. Pro-democracy countries and the UN will very likely impose economic as well as diplomatic sanctions on Myanmar, and Myanmar’s economy will likely face severe impacts. Workers will likely continue striking for a prolonged period, further impacting the economy. Several countries will likely downgrade their bilateral ties with Myanmar.

  • The series of charges made against Aung San Suu Kyi is very likely an attempt to keep her out of elections and eradicate political opposition to the military government. Her long-term absence will very likely demotivate the country’s pro-democracy supporters, very likely helping the military government take full control of the administration. The impact of the international community on the military government will likely be lessened in the absence of local resistance. The lack of local resistance will very likely discontinue the ongoing Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar.

Date: December 9, 2021

Location: London, England

Parties involved: China; Uyghur Tribunal; Uyghur Community; The US; European Union; Canada; United Nations (UN)

The event: An unofficial United Kingdom-based Uyghur Tribunal ruled that China has committed genocide against Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.[6] The tribunal chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC said that the Chinese government targeted the Uyghur minorities with forced birth control and sterilization policies to reduce their population.[7]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The tribunal’s rulings will likely make countries that have signed the 1948 Genocide Convention take legal action against China. The US, European Union, Canada, and the UN will very likely impose human rights-related sanctions on China such as restricting investments in Xinjiang Province and boycotting products made in this region. China is likely to lose support from Muslim countries such as Turkey if the allegation of genocide is proved to be true by a competent court.

  • As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) investigates cases when recommended by the UN Security Council (UNSC), it is unlikely that the ICJ will investigate this case given China’s UNSC permanent membership. Accusations by an unofficial independent tribunal are very unlikely to affect China’s ongoing policies. China will likely put diplomatic and economic pressures on the countries supporting the ruling of the tribunal. The Chinese government will likely increase its military power in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in order to divert the attention of the international community away from the ruling.

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[2] Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to jail, Al Jazeera, December 2021,

[3] Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar court sentences ousted leader in widely criticised trial, BBC, December 2021,

[4] Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to jail, Al Jazeera, December 2021,

[5] The Centrality of the Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar’s Post-Coup Era, New Mandala, October 2021,

[6] China committed genocide against Uyghurs, independent tribunal rules, BBC, December 2021,

[7] China guilty of Uighur genocide in Xinjiang, tribunal rules, Al Jazeera, December 2021,



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