Myanmar's Management of China's Influence: From Mutual Benefit to Mutual Dependence

Evelyn Goh, David I Steinberg

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRising China's Influence in Developing Asia
    Editors Evelyn Goh
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Pages55-79
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9780198758518
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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