Rohingya crisis: Why Aung San Suu Kyi is becoming a hero in China

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar State Counselor and former Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has become popular among Chinese netizens for her dealing with the issue.

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Muslim protesters shout slogans as they hold posters of Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Wirathu, the leader of Myanmar's nationalist Buddhist monks during a rally against the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, September. 16, 2017. Thousand Muslims staged the rally condemning violence in Myanmar against its Rohingya Muslim minority. (AP Photo)

Rohingya crisis: Even as she has been facing criticism over the Rohingya issue from several quarters, Myanmar State Counselor and former Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has become popular among Chinese netizens for her dealing with the issue. Chinese state daily Global Times today reported that Chinese netizens have praised her defiance against “outside pressure while safeguarding her people’s interest.”

The daily says that Suu Kyi was earlier seen as a “proxy” of the West by nationalistic Chinese netizens because of her “close relationship” with the West. The Global Times says that Chinese online communities are “routinely indignant” over the pressure from the West on developing countries for dealing with the issues concerning their respective national security.

According to the Chinese daily, on sites like and, Suu Kyi is being hailed as “a stateswoman who serves her people’s interest” and a “tough and wise woman who knows much better than the Western politicians who make political correctness a business”

According to Reuters, over 4,00,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh to escape alleged “ethnic cleansing” from Rakhine in Myanmar. Scores of them have also fled to India. As the Rohingya issue unfolds as a grave humanitarian crisis, Western media have been highly critical of Suu Kyi’s silence. In an article recently, The New York Times even suggested that Suu Kyi be stripped off her Nobel Prize.

Global Times says Chinese citizen’s concerns about “domestic Islamic extremism” have made the Myanmar crisis a sensitive issue. “Chinese people shared some concern on religious extremism with Myanmar, so their attitude toward Suu Kyi is also their attitude toward the Myanmar people,” Liu Yun, an analyst on Myanmar issue told Global Times.

Suu Kyi’s popularity is also rising in China because of he “friendly policy” towards China, which was not expected by many, Liu told the daily.

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