Myanmar parliament

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What’s next for Myanmar-China relations?

5th September 2016

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Naing has worked on the Thai-Burma border in the areas of political reforms including democracy, human rights, national reconciliation and economic development.

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RegNet PhD scholar Naing Ko Ko has published an opinion piece in the Myanmar Times looking at what is to come for the Myanmar-China relationship.

China and Myanmar have shared a geopolitically strategic 2185-kilometre (1358-mile) border since the end of World War II. During the great power politics of the post-war era, the leaderships of the two nations fine-tuned postures of neutrality and non-alignment throughout the Cold War. U Nu and Zhou Enlai, the premiers of the two nations, stood together at the forefront of the non-aligned movement.

But the relationship was hardly a model of shared-border brotherhood. While the Chinese Communist Party supported the Communist Party of Burma until 1989, General Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party stoked xenophobic anti-Chinese sentiment in then-Burma, despite the fact that he himself was half-Chinese by birth. While countless analysts of China-Myanmar dynamics have concentrated on the nonetheless enduring pauk phaw relationship between these two nations, early indications are that Myanmar’s state counsellor and foreign minister, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, will change the diplomatic equation once more.

Since assuming her dual roles, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has practiced pragmatism, sending signals that her country will be neither a satellite state nor a peripheral player in China’s regional rise.

Read the entire article in the Myanmar Times.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet