Myanmar Morphs to US-China Battlefield

The international community is encouraged about fledgling democracy in Burma, or Myanmar as renamed by its leaders. Once isolated, denounced for human rights violations, the Myanmar government depended heavily on China. Hoping to reduce dependence on China, the Myanmar government eased repression, and the US responded swiftly. But this development adds to new US-Chinese tensions. “Rather than being on a path to democracy, Myanmar may find itself instead in the middle of a dangerous and potentially volatile superpower rivalry,” writes journalist Bertil Lintner for the Asia Times. “That means the traditionally powerful military may not be in the mood to give up its dominant role in politics and society any time soon.” China is supplying sophisticated weapons to militia along the border to put pressure on Burmese leadership; US intelligence has stepped up its presence in Burma, which has friendly relations with North Korea. Burma has strategic importance for China, which has invested heavily in Burmese energy, mining and other infrastructure. A proxy war in Burma won’t endear the Burmese people to either the US or China. – YaleGlobal

Myanmar Morphs to US-China Battlefield

As Burmese government reduces dependence on China by improving ties with US, China responds to protect huge energy and mining infrastructure investments
Bertil Lintner
Friday, May 3, 2013
Bertil Lintner is a former correspondent with the Far Eastern Economic Review and author of several books on Burma/Myanmar, including Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency Since 1948 (published in 1994, 1999 and 2003), Land of Jade: A Journey from India through Northern Burma to China, and The Kachin: Lords of Burma’s Northern Frontier. He is currently a writer with Asia Pacific Media Services.
Copyright 2013 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved.

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