TITLE

The Vexing Strategic Tug-of-War over Naypyidaw: ASEAN's View of the Sino- Burmese Ties

AUTHOR(S)
Chachavalpongpun, Pavin
PUB. DATE
January 2012
SOURCE
Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs;2012, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p97
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article argues that ASEAN's policy toward Myanmar has been predominantly responsive, dictated by China's activism in the region. It posits three arguments: First, that the release of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, may have been a tactical move to convince ASEAN to award it the 2014 chairmanship and thereby consolidate the legitimacy of the current regime; second, that Thein Sein's suspension of the Myitsone Dam was a strategic move intended to please both domestic and ASEAN constituencies; and third, that Myanmar's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014 will help justify the organisation's past approach to Burma as well as accelerate the process of community-building. The paper argues that in spite of the growing interconnectedness between ASEAN and China, ASEAN is locked in a strategic tug-of-war with China over Myanmar. Myanmar has, on multiple occasions, played upon ASEAN's suspicion of China by playing the "China card," as I term it, forcing ASEAN to continually legitimise it through public statements.
ACCESSION #
76454946

 

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