This chapter analyses Myanmar’s evolving responses to China’s influence in three vital issue areas from independence through successive military regimes to political reforms after 2011: stabilizing ethnic conflict at their shared borders; keeping at bay other great powers; and energy and other infrastructure projects. The authors show that the common perception about a patron–client relationship between Myanmar and China is misplaced: they trace the Burma/Myanmar authorities’ resistance against Chinese influence in significant border and resource development issues over the last 70 years, and argue that Myanmar ensured mutual gains even at the height of dependence on China. They see the tatmadaw’s softening stance towards internal reform and external engagement since 2011 as management of Chinese influence through strategic diversification. They also see China’s more recent infrastructure investments in Myanmar as exacerbating their mutual dependence and granting Myanmar more leverage in the relationship.
|Title of host publication||Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|