October 1st, 2007
02:00 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain: Calls on China to intervene in Burma

DERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) – Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, called on China to flex its political muscle in Myanmar and criticized that nation's military government for suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations, during a campaign swing Sunday through this Granite State town.

"We should impose even stronger sanctions and we should tell the Chinese that if they're going to play a major role in the world, they should exercise their influence over Burma to stop this wanton killing and imprisonment of innocent people who only seek democracy and freedom," said McCain, who is seeking his party's presidential nomination. Myanmar is better known as Burma.

When asked by CNN if it was realistic to expect the Chinese government to exert their authority in Burma, McCain issued this warning.

"It's realistic to expect them to act in the mature fashion that they should as a world power and it's disgraceful they haven't, and we should condemn them if they don't," he said. "And it would impact at least in some ways our relations with China. This is all about killing innocent people and they can do something about it. Now they can’t maybe bring it to an immediate halt but they can certainly have a beneficial effect on the Burmese government."

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    Ummm McCain...?

    What about the systematic
    "imprisonment of innocent people who only seek democracy and freedom," IN CHINA.

    Has the US exterted its influence over China to change It's anti democracy ways?

    Yeah... did'nt think so. Lead by actions not words

    October 1, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Tony G

    He didn't say a single damn thing about the United States going into Burma to assist in re-establishing Democracy. Once again a Republican passing the buck. If the President is all about world-wide freedom then why aren't we doing something over there rather than fighting a losing illegal war in Iraq that is accomplishing nothing?

    October 1, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Leah, Washington, D.C.

    I know this isn't the purpose of this article but, seriously, the word "their" used in his quote, "We should impose even stronger sanctions and we should tell the Chinese that if their going to play a major role in the world...." is wrong. It should be "they're." CNN should edit a little more closely....

    October 1, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Coach Haughton

    While the actions of the Burmese and Chinese governments warrant much harsher criticism, this comment is an overall positive for the world.

    Good job by the best serious republican contender in the field.

    October 1, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. laurinda,ny

    Oh great, let's get China involved. They are trying to poison us and our pets, I'm sure they would love to help us out.

    October 1, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Pat, Huntignton, NY

    Why should I care what happens there? So what? A bunch of bald guys in dresses get killed for standing up for their rights? That's done on gay pride in NYC every year, and no one gives a crap about that?

    October 1, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Tom, Mission viejo, CA

    McCain is right, the Chinese hold the most influence over many of the southeast Asain nations. Just like the Chinese have the most influence over North Korea and that's why the US has been trying to get China to do the lion's share of the work there.

    As for Tony's comment..come on man, you can't advocate going into one country and then dis the president for going into another.

    That said, there is a lot more that the US and developed nations could do to combat many many injustices throughout the world. Sudan anyone? The Hmong in Vietnam are still being persecuted, Burma, Tibet, etc.

    October 1, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    Umm actually... they American companies that decided to cut corners so you can "pay less" for your pet food and toys are trying to poison you. How about some oversight of the people they have working for them... oh wait if there was required oversight (at least testing the stuff when it get here) they would not be able to claim ignorance.

    October 1, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. dd, San Diego

    Hi, McCain, why should China get involved with other nation's internal affair. If you think the Burmese military dictator is killing its innocent people and Burmese people need to be liberated from him why not send in US troops to do the job of spreading democracy like they are doing in Iraq now!

    October 1, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Paul Svrcek, Seattle, WA

    It's difficult to tell if this dispatch was written by McCain's staff or by CNN's producer. Either way, one would hope that someone working at this level would know the difference between "their," which is plural possessive; and "they're," which is a contraction for "they are." Good grief– this is grade school English– not exactly what I would call leading by example by either a presidential campaign or an international English-language news organization....

    October 1, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. anon, new york, NY

    Talk is cheap, mr. mccain! That is what america could do to burma if you are elected as president? A true leader would intervene directly, not threatening a 3rd country to carry out your wishes.

    Guess you are not presidential material.

    October 1, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Jef, Omaha, NE

    Your grammar stinks. See article #1.

    October 1, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. joseph, armada, michigan

    It appears to me that McCain does not have the slightest sense of what he is talking about. China??? did not they support the vietnamese against us in vietnam and we lost nearly sixty thousand men and women in that senseless slaughter of a "Police Action"!!! Now he wants to encourage china its track record of human rights to intervene, Hell where dose he think the military rulers of old burma got thier training. LOL. McCain should follow the lead of Newt and drop out of the presidential race. the french were bucking for a war with Iran and actually helped the north vietnamese demine the harbors as we bombed them, They have a lot of experience in loosing in old frenchindo china let them go to old burma. we can watch the white flags of the french army waving on google earth.

    October 1, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Ryan Dunn - Owings Mill, MD

    I will boycott any toy cars that say "Made in Myanmar".

    October 1, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Japan would be a better choice for an agent of peace in Burma.

    Thialand is possibly the southern empire of a once Japan.

    Would it be wrong for Japan to aide the south pacific islands with natural securities and governmental affairs, with an United States of America partnership of course?

    October 1, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. laurinda,ny

    Here we go again. Always worried about someone else. Meanwhile our country is topsy turvy and nothing is being done about it. If we would mind our own business we would be better off.

    October 1, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Patrick Kunc, Bartlesville Oklahoma

    The people that are critizing McCain over this are really uninformed. He is pressuring China to step up b/c without China and without directly invading Burma there is nothing we can do. We want tougher sanctions but they are meaningless unless China imposes sanctions as well as they are bigger trading partners than we are. If we want to help these poor people we either have to send our army in there to over throw their government, I would definitely support this, or get the world to impose sanctions as one. To do this you have to talk to China.

    October 3, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. Henry, Beverly Hills, Ca

    China should intervene in Burma???
    When did US intervene with Al Qaeda's home – Saudi Arabia?
    Every hijacker and Bin Laden comes from Saudi Arabia – home of the most repressed and richest arab nation.

    October 3, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. NY

    Well in response to Japan possibly taking a role. Its pretty hard without a military, remember Japan has not had a military or been allowed to take part in wars since their defeat in WWII.

    China will obviously not take any responsibility on this unless they get EXTREME pressure from the entire global community. I mean China is still murdering tibetans and systematically wiping them off the face of our planet.

    October 10, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |