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As West retreats, China surges in Myanmar

Myanmar’s ethnic turmoil and political uncertainties are keeping Western investors and tourists away, as the Rohingya refugee crisis has once again made the country a pariah byword for grave human rights abuses. At the same time, China has emerged as the largest investor in Myanmar’s commercial center Yangon, accounting for 65 of 113 approved foreign […]

China’s Extending Reach in Myanmar

Dissonance in the Hinterlands as China Moves In Myanmar’s dependence on China is easy to see. Brightly colored Chinese company signs and billboards are prominent, Chinese-looking businessmen stroll along the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, and Chinese tourists seem to be everywhere. While I was visiting, a Chinese crew happened to be filming in […]

China’s Dynamic Grip on Myanmar

China’s influence in Myanmar manifests on three different levels. At the bilateral level, the government and the military establishment of Myanmar receives diplomatic dividends for maintaining good ties with China. At the domestic political level, China’s relations with the country’s ethnic organizations makes it an important stakeholder in the ongoing reconciliation process. Finally, at the […]

As the West isolates Myanmar, some investors dig in for the long term

YANGON/BANGKOK — A full generation has grown up since the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) of Senior Gen. Saw Maung seized power on Sept. 18, 1988, putting a bloody end to a nationwide pro-democracy uprising that lasted some six weeks. An estimated 3,000 people died in the crackdown, which re-established direct military rule […]

Taxi Count Needed Before Industry Reform

The Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) is undertaking a taxi census, as it attempts to rein in the largely unregulated industry. YRTA secretary U Maung Aung said a formal, standardised registration process will begin once they have taken stock of the city’s fleet. At present, Yangon taxis are operated by private owners and subject to […]