Friday, July 29, 2016
The role of civil society in China-Myanmar relations.
Myanmar's political transition, following the 2010 and 2015 elections, provides new space and opportunities for civil society, challenging China's long-standing position as the country's most important foreign partner.
- Lack of skills to engage with civil society in Myanmar will jeopardise China's status as an economic and development partner.
- Civil society in Myanmar could look towards the West, in particular the United States, for support -- not China.
- Myanmar has strategic potential as a land-based energy supply route that avoids the Malacca Strait.
- Rapid economic growth will eventually make Myanmar a market for China as well as supplier of resources.
- Nonetheless, Myanmar's government will not shun China: its support will be useful in the ethnic ceasefire effort.