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Rakhine Rebels Eager for Foreign Investment

YANGON—The Arakan Army (AA) has signaled to foreign developers it wants them to invest in Rakhine State, noting that the region is on an essential part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—the proposed comprehensive trade and logistics route linking China and Europe through Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia. […]

A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views in response to questions from senior editors. Here are excerpts from the interview: The Irrawaddy: […]

Selling Rakhine to the World

In the wake of the 2017 Rohingya crisis and ongoing fighting between the military and Arakan Army, the Myanmar government is desperate to attract investors to Rakhine State in hopes that they will help reverse the fortunes of one of the country’s poorest regions. To that end, it invited more than 600 of them to […]

Facebook Bans ‘Dangerous’ Armed Groups in Myanmar From Platform

YANGON —Facebook announced on Tuesday afternoon that it has banned the four ethnic armed groups that comprise Myanmar’s Northern Alliance, calling them “dangerous organizations.” It said all related praise, support and representation of the Arakan Army, Kachin Independence Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army would also be removed as soon […]

China hardsells big ticket but low on trust, India’s soft power push in Myanmar education and health

As Delhi seeks to expand its engagement with Myanmar, it is in sectors such as education, health and entertainment services that India hopes to make an impact in a country crowded with several international players, and completely dominated by China. In a state-of-the art classroom at the steel and glass Myanmar Institute of Information Technology […]

China Showers Myanmar With Attention, as Trump Looks Elsewhere

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — When Myanmar’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, wanted to hold a peace conference to end her country’s long-burning insurgencies, a senior Chinese diplomat went to work. The official assembled scores of rebel leaders, many with longstanding connections to China, briefed them on the peace gathering and flew them on a chartered […]

What About the Chinese Immigrants Caught in Myanmar’s Crossfire?

​​ Huang Yanling’s grandparents had thought they could never return home to China when they sought asylum in Myanmar almost six decades ago. The pair from Tengchong, in Yunnan ( 雲南 ) province, were driven out of the country along with countless others when a nationwide famine hit as a result of Mao Zedong’s ( […]

In Myanmar, the AIIB Could Buttress China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Framework

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank could come to play a greater role in Myanmar. Is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) just another vehicle for spreading Chinese geoeconomic primacy throughout the Asia-Pacific? Earlier this year, reflecting on the bank’s first projects, I argued that such fears were overwrought. The AIIB, with modest partnership-based undertakings along with […]