China's Strategic Misjudgement on Myanmar

Yun Sun
January 2012
Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs;2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p73
Academic Journal
Yun Sun argues that China's policy failures on Myanmar in 2011 are rooted in several strategic post-election misjudgements. Following President Thein Sein's inauguration in March 2011, the Sino-Myanmar relationship was initially boosted by the establishment of a "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership," and China sought reciprocation for its long-time diplomatic support in the form of Myanmar's endorsement of China's positions on regional multilateral forums. A series of events since August have frustrated China's aspirations, however, including Myanmar's suspension of the Myitsone dam and the rapid improvement of its relationship with the West. Several strategic misjudgements contributed to China's miscalculations, including on the democratic momentum of the Myanmar government, on the U.S. -Myanmar engagement and on China's political and economic influence in the country. China's previous definition of Myanmar as one of China's "few loyal friends" and the foundation of its strategic blueprint has been fundamentally shaken, and China is recalibrating its expectations regarding future policies.


Related Articles

  • Burmese regime playing the 'American' card to get more concessions from 'comrade state' China. Lam, Willy // East-Asia-Intel Reports;11/30/2011, p6 

    The article analyzes the foreign policy being used by President of Burma, Thein Sein with respect to the U.S. and China. It is reported that, the reforms which have been initiated by Sein in the country like releasing political prisoners, are mainly aimed at persuading the U.S. to lift trade and...

  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Making Sense of Myanmar's Political Reforms. Lintner, Bertil // Global Asia;Fall2014, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p74 

    An essay on the political reforms in Myanmar and the geopolitics guiding U.S. intervention in these reforms is presented. It discusses the 2010 election that led to the formation of President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government, the response of the U.S. and the rest of the international...

  • MYANMAR AND CHINA. Tin Maung Maung Than // Southeast Asian Affairs;2003, p189 

    Assesses the foreign relation of Burma with China. Enhancement of personal diplomacy; Views of the public officials on communism; Involvement of the Chinese military in the Korean war.

  • Burma accuses China of smuggling arms, backing dissidents.  // East-Asia-Intel Reports;1/27/2010, p2 

    The article reports that military officials with Burma's Military Affairs Security (MAS) told Chinese officials that the armed ethnic Shan State Army and dissident groups such as the Communist Party of Burma, the All-Burma Students' Democratic Front and exiled members of the National League for...

  • Myanmar-China-US: The Potential for Triangular Cooperation. STEINBERG, DAVID I. // Asia Pacific Bulletin;11/15/2013, Issue 241, p1 

    The article explores the foreign relations of China and Myanmar and growth of the U.S.-Myanmar relations. The end of the virtual relationship between China and Myanmar and the belief of China that the U.S. assisted Burmese civil society groups are discussed. Discussions for the U.S.-China...

  • Gourd Amid Cactuses. KEARNEY, VINCENT S. // America;3/14/1964, Vol. 110 Issue 11, p345 

    The author comments on the role of Burma in international affairs. He attributes the diplomatic strategy employed by the country in the Southeast Asian political arena to the geographical fact that it has a 1,200-mile frontier with Communist China. He asserts that Burma is afraid of the...

  • China-Burma Geopolitical Relations in the Cold War. Fan Hongwei // Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs;2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p7 

    This paper explores the historical role of geography in the Sino- Burmese relationship in the context of the Cold War, both before and after the Chinese-American détente and rapprochement in the 1970s. It describes Burma's fear and distrust of China throughout the Cold War, during which it...

  • Myanmar in Contemporary Chinese Foreign Policy - Strengthening Common Ground, Managing Differences. Sutter, Robert // Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs;2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p29 

    This assessment first briefly examines recent features of China's approach to foreign affairs, and then examines in greater detail features in China's approach to relations with its neighbours, especially in Southeast Asia. It does so in order to discern prevailing patterns in Chinese foreign...

  • Burmese Attitude toward Chinese: Portrayal of the Chinese in Contemporary Cultural and Media Works. Min Zin // Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs;2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p115 

    This paper argues that since at least the mid 1980s, there has been an observable negative attitude among the people of Burma against the Chinese. Such sentiment is not just transient public opinion, but an attitude. The author measures it by studying contemporary cultural and media works as...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics