Myanmar risks falling into a China debt trap

To understand China’s top priority in Myanmar, forget Beijing’s involvement in the country’s sputtering peace process, or efforts to restart its backed but now suspended US$3.9 billion Myitsone hydroelectric dam, or even securing rights to extract copper at the locally resisted Letpadaung mine outside of Mandalay. Those are all subordinate interests to what China really […]

China firms up ties with Myanmar

China’s emergence as a global player and its generous foreign aid to Southeast Asian countries often leads to claims that its true actions are disguised and really a means to expand its power and influence throughout the region. However, Myanmar has adeptly managed its relations with the Asian powerhouse over the years and, contrary to […]

The Kra Canal that cuts Thailand into two – will it become a reality?

The ancient dreams of constructing a canal across the Kra Isthmus had been rekindled. A few weeks ago, there was a news item in the local media in Thailand related to the revival of the idea of building a canal across the narrow strip of land, geographically known as the Malay Peninsula, in Southern Thailand. […]

Beset by delays, Myanmar-China oil pipeline nears start-up

Nearly a decade in the making, a project to pump oil 770 km (480 miles) across Myanmar to southwest China is set for imminent start-up, with a supertanker nearing the port of Kyauk Phyu, marking the opening of a new oil trading route. Dogged by sensitive relations between Naypyitaw and Beijing, the $1.5 billion oil […]