Myanmar – China: Beijing’s Strategic Interests and Instruments of Influence

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Science
Address: Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospect 32
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 5

The military leadership of Myanmar being under conditions of international sanctions and having a difficult economic situation have to approach China. In the foreign policy of the PRC, Myanmar has also acquired a great geostrategic importance. Getting direct transport access to the Indian Ocean through Myanmar stimulates the export-oriented development of the south-western provinces of the PRC and also forms a safe energy corridor for the import of hydrocarbons bypassing the Malacca Strait. China is implementing many infrastructure projects in Myanmar as part of connecting Myanmar to the Belt and Road Initiative. China as a powerful economic actor is an important source of energy for modern technologies, helping to modernize Myanmar’s economy, creates jobs. At the same time, the growth of Chinese capital in the economy of Myanmar and the political influence of Beijing on the military also cause negative reactions at the grass-roots level. China retains its historical leverage over the Myanmar leadership in the form of ethnic armed organizations (EAO) and plays an important role in the process of national reconciliation in Myanmar. At the same time, the activities of various criminal structures in the Sino-Myanmar border area have a negative impact on the southwestern regions of China.

KeywordsChina, Myanmar, Economic Corridor, Yunnan, Shan, strategic partnership
Publication date19.06.2023
Number of characters30968
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