Myanmar Moves Further Away From China’s Grasp
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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “As we proceed with Myanmar, we should keep an eye focused on how all this looks in Beijing.”

    I think China has to recognize that their belligerence isn’t making them any new friends, and is losing them the few friends they do have. But, maybe this is what they want, a feeling they are under siege in order to keep their citizens in line. Authoritarian regimes frequently use external threats and wars in order to maintain internal control.

  • Eric

    The main reason for the political changes in Burma is careful fostering by Indonesia.

    There is probably no foreign leader who has been more influential in the unfolding events in Burma, as SBY reveals in our interview. “I can reveal to you now that we tried to do our part by engaging (former Burmese dictator) Senior General Than Shwe several years ago in a process of personal correspondence.”

    “I have a conviction that our (Indonesia’s) transformation, including the TNI (military) reform, is relevant to be shared with Myanmar, as we used to have a political system dominated by the role of the military.”

    SBY is Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

    The example of the Indonesian transformation, protection of the TNI from populist recrimination and attractions of ASEAN, makes it clear that distancing from China is not what Burma is doing explicitly. Rather they are moving closer to ASEAN and the Indonesian/Thai model. Because of this southeast asian focus they naturally must move away from China by default.

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