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Myanmar Crisis

Silent Chinese companies weigh costs of Myanmar's growing chaos

Targeted violence intensifies as top investors consider future of business operations

Demonstrators outside the Chinese Embassy protest Beijing's response to the military coup in Yangon on Feb. 19. Chinese products have become key targets of boycott movements.   © Reuters

YANGON/BANGKOK -- While many multinational companies have begun to publicly express their opposition to the military coup and subsequent violence in Myanmar, Chinese companies -- Myanmar's largest investors -- have stayed silent even as Beijing reportedly ordered its state enterprises to evacuate nonessential staff.

A Yangon-based rights group has called for companies to sign a joint statement of concern about the coup, but Chinese companies are conspicuously absent. This is in contrast to Japanese companies, which are the third-largest investors in the Southeast Asian country and have begun to show their views by signing the document and collectively urging the regime to halt the violence.

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