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Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia$
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Evelyn Goh

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758518.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Myanmar’s Management of China’s Influence

Myanmar’s Management of China’s Influence

From Mutual Benefit to Mutual Dependence

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Myanmar’s Management of China’s Influence
Source:
Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia
Author(s):

Evelyn Goh

David I. Steinberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758518.003.0003

This chapter analyses Myanmar’s evolving responses to China’s influence in three vital issue areas from independence through successive military regimes to political reforms after 2011: stabilizing ethnic conflict at their shared borders; keeping at bay other great powers; and energy and other infrastructure projects. The authors show that the common perception about a patron–client relationship between Myanmar and China is misplaced: they trace the Burma/Myanmar authorities’ resistance against Chinese influence in significant border and resource development issues over the last 70 years, and argue that Myanmar ensured mutual gains even at the height of dependence on China. They see the tatmadaw’s softening stance towards internal reform and external engagement since 2011 as management of Chinese influence through strategic diversification. They also see China’s more recent infrastructure investments in Myanmar as exacerbating their mutual dependence and granting Myanmar more leverage in the relationship.

Keywords:   Burma, Myanmar, China, power, influence, Myitsone Dam, infrastructure, ethnic conflict, border, Indian Ocean, preference multiplying

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