Myanmar continues to reap rewards from its gradual transition toward democracy—and away from dependence on China. Earlier this month, the U.S. announced it would lift some of the many sanctions it had placed on Myanmar over the past two decades. Today, the BBC reported that the EU is planning to go even further. A meeting on Monday between EU foreign ministers will likely result in the suspension of “most” sanctions.Among the restrictions to be relaxed are the travel ban and asset freezes targeted at government officials. Aid and development money will be allowed into the country, as will investment in key sectors of the economy such as mining and logging. A preferential trade agreement is also rumored to be in the works.In addition to the U.S. and EU announcements, other countries in the region have likewise begun to wind down sanctions. Australia has eased travel and financial restrictions and allowed the normalization of trade. Japan had not implemented the same penalties as its neighbors, but it had stopped offering development loans in 2003. Tokyo has said it, too, is looking to re-establish its substantial aid program this year.This is a dramatic turnaround for a country that has spent the past twenty years as an international pariah. Of course, the story is not the simple morality tale the press is fond of telling, in which an oppressive military junta suddenly receives the benefaction of the West as it begins to slowly embrace democracy. Until recently Myanmar had been one of China’s few allies in Asia. Now it seems that it wishes to reduce its dependence on China and open up to other powerful allies. America, Maritime Asia and Europe are all too happy to oblige. But before we begin to pat ourselves on the back, it is worth reiterating that the objective of our Asia policy should not be to confront China, but to avoid the need to do so in the first place. An Asia that is safe, prosperous, and free helps accomplish this goal.As we proceed with Myanmar, we should keep an eye focused on how all this looks in Beijing.