The Causes of Burma/Myanmar’s Democratization

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2011
14 Pages

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China’s History of Disruption

China’s Enhanced Military Capabilities

Events that Drive Reform



Burma/Myanmar was once described as a ‘boutique’ issue, in that it was “small, specialized and fashionable.” Burma certainly does not pose a physical threat for the United States, but President Obama asserted on 14 May 2009, “The actions and policies of the Government of Burma continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”[1] Virtually the same message was articulated by President George W. Bush earlier in May 2007.[2] These messages might appear unsettling to Burmese leaders, especially due to their past paranoia of a U.S. invasion, which added reason for the transportation of the capital on 12 July 2006 from Rangoon to Naypyidaw.[3] However, this can be explained by the legal requirement for the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1997 as unilateral sanctions can only be invoked with the explicit language of such an “extraordinary ‘threat.’”[4] While nuclear proliferation is a concern in Burma, the actual development of a nuclear program like that of Iran’s is nonexistent.[5] Rather, U.S. ambitions and sanctions in Burma have emphasized human rights and democracy, crutched on democratic leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

After decades of unsuccessful economic sanctions and broken relations, on 18 November 2011 President Obama announced that Burma revealed “glimmers of progress” on the path to democratic reform.[6] Earlier on 23 September 2009, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced the United States’ new policy on Burma, “The United States will begin a direct dialogue with Burmese authorities to lay out a path towards better relations on… democracy and human rights; cooperation on international security issues such as non-proliferation; areas of mutual benefit, such as trafficking in persons, counter-narcotics; and recover of WWII-era remains.”[7] Since October 2011, Burma has released 200 political prisoners (with approximately 1,600 to go),[8] which in itself was once controversial; political prisoners were once described as “security detainees” and sometimes called “prisoners of conscience,” which has a definition (individuals arrested for peaceful activities) that reduces the vastness of actual political prisoners who have been unjustly detained.[9] Since genuine political prisoners are being released, it can be assumed that real steps to progress have been made at the negotiating table. In November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest after Burma held pre-determined elections.[10] She has since participated in the dialogue process for reform. Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) refused to participate in the November 2010 election because it excluded Suu Kyi and the country’s political prisoners.[11] The NLD is rejoining Burma’s politics with Suu Kyi participating in the by-elections.[12]

It would be an oversimplification to argue that the cause of reform was limited to economic sanctions. While sanctions may have played some role, along with Suu Kyi who originally called for the sanctions as a way to put pressure on the regime, the regime remains highly cognizant of the other important strategic imperatives behind democratic reform. The strongest explanation for Burma/Myanmar’s democratic reforms is to balance against China; this aversion to China is rooted in China’s historical disruption, its growing military capabilities, and ethnic tensions with Chinese from their economic intrusion. Democratic reform, or the improvement of governance and human rights, will reduce sanctions by the United States and allow other players to balance against China by investing interests in Burma/Myanmar. Other causes of reform are event-driven; the 2007 “Saffron Revolution” and the 2008 Cyclone Nargis may have enlightened the military junta to seek greater standards of living as a form of political legitimacy as its current basis of legitimacy is quickly evaporating. The country has faced too much strife. In 2002, Human Rights Watch stated that its civil wars and ethnic conflict had led to 70,000 out of 3 million children conscripting as child soldiers. In 2010, AusAID estimated that between 30 and 50 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.[13] Reform in Burma is occurring because of the engagement initiatives of the Obama administration and the willingness of Aung San Suu Kyi to work with the regime, coupled with the milieu of Chinese dominance within and without, and the regime’s recent failures in 2007 and 2008 that damaged the regime’s political legitimacy.

China’s History of Disruption

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: "Myanmar: Divisions and States." Map. 1995. Accessed December 10, 2011.

China’s history of disruption in Burma is deeply rooted in the twentieth century, although it dates back all the way to the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty when the capital of Pagan was destroyed in 1287. The Qing dynasty Manchu government attempted four invasions, but all failed.[14] Burma’s history with China has given ample reason for the leaders to seek a more favorable balance of power vis-à-vis China. The first major instance of Chinese disruption within the margins of historical memory was the refuge of Chinese nationalist, or Kuomintang (KMT), remnant troops in the Shan State of northern Burma.

These troops retreated from China’s Yunnan Province to Burma while the rest of the nationalists fled to Taiwan after the Chinese civil war (1948-1949). This interestingly paralleled the flight of the Ming court’s loyalist forces to Burma after the Manchus conquered China in 1644. The KMT troops in the northern Burma were backed by the nationalist government on Taiwan and clandestinely by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in an effort to stave off global communism, and were named, “Yunnan Anti-Communist Salvation Army.” At their height, they were 16,000 strong, but maintained the naïve goal of retaking the mainland and made seven failed attempts. A ‘top secret’ dossier of the KMT troops in Burma, which was captured by Burma’s Ministry of Information, depicts their mission to aggravate border conflict between Burma and China, “From now on you and your men must make all attempts to attack the weak outpost of the Burmese troops in the disguise that you are Mao’s Communist bandits…we must create trouble between these two governments.”[15] Another disruptive aspect of the KMT was the use of opium production to sustain operations. The KMT promoted its conversion into its highly profitable form, heroin, and exported it through Thailand. 90 percent of opium products in the United States were imported from Burma. In 1961, the KMT troops were shattered when 20,000 Chinese communist troops joined 5,000 Burmese troops in removing their presence.[16]

China supported the Burmese Communist Party (BCP or CPB) insurgency in the late 1960s, which had relocated itself near the Chinese border in the northern Shan State.[17] This was caused by ethnically Chinese students’ defiance of Burmese policies that prohibited wearing Mao Zedong badges in Burmese schools. As a response, they marched on the streets of Rangoon with Maoist revolutionary banners and slogans. Economically troubled Burmans responded to their demonstrations with anti-Chinese riots in Rangoon on 26 June 1967; China’s support of the BCP was intended to counter these anti-Chinese riots, which exacerbated ethnic tensions, but not state-to-state relations. This lengthy insurgency has remained in the cognizance of Burmese veteran leaders who fought the communists.[18] On 6 November 1969, the extent of the conflict was described by General Ne Win, “The most serious situation prevails in the regions which share the border with China… Let it suffice to say that from January 1st to the end of August this year, there were eight major engagements in that area and ten which might be classified as minor or medium.”[19] The military junta has worried about the large populations of ethnic Chinese in Burma and its ability to subvert internal affairs in the event of another Chinese-backed insurgency.

Before the anti-Chinese riots, Zhou Enlai stressed in 1954 that China would not interfere, “Revolution cannot be exported…Communist parties of various countries win out only by themselves.”[20] An unclassified CIA report stated that during this pre-1967 period, the BCP lacked ammunition and supplies and had observably not received substantial aid from China.[21] However, after the anti-Chinese protests, the dramatic influx of materials supporting the BCP led historian Thant Myint-U* to suggest it was “nothing less than an invasion from China.” It has been estimated that the insurgency killed and wounded over 11,000 Burmese soldiers between 1968 and 1973.[22] Even in September 1988 after the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) had assumed control, the BCP assaulted the town of Mong Yang and incurred numerous casualties. Later that year in December 1988, they conducted one of the highest casualty assaults in their 40 year insurgency. The disruption of the Chinese-backed BCP has been felt by nearly every military leader in Burma today.[23] This disruption plays a significant role in the determinations of Burma’s veteran leaders to balance against China.

China’s Enhanced Military Capabilities

While China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has always possessed a massive land army, it is now modernizing its capabilities, creating a leaner and more efficient fighting force for conflicts in the 21st century. This is mainly geared toward the United States, but also affects the calculations of lesser powers in Southeast Asia, especially the leaders in Burma who possess extensive combat experience against the Chinese. A Center for Strategic and International Studies report estimated that China had 2,170,000 military personnel in 2010. At the same time, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines collectively only had 1,472,000 military personnel.[24]

China’s military modernization was initially targeted at deterring Taiwanese independence in the 1990s. Its military grew at an average of 10 percent annually. Most procurement was purchased from Russia, but China has gradually improved its R&D skills. China has recently announced that it would increase its military budget by 12.7% annually. China’s naval force has about 50 modern diesel submarines and is developing nuclear submarines of their own. It has improved its frigates and destroyers and will likely produce its own midsize aircraft carriers in the future.[25] China has developed an arc of naval facilities coined by Booz Allen as the “String of Pearls,” which extends from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. This strategy is supposedly aimed to protect energy flows from the Middle East and to secure broader objectives. Burma is threaded along this strategy with an electronic intelligence gathering facility on the Coco islands in the Bay of Bengal.[26] While this strategy is only designed to protect the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC)** along this critical trade and energy route, it may be unsettling for Burma’s leaders.

China has procured fourth-generation fighter jets from Russia and begun developing their own advanced fighters. Their engine designs have been flawed, so they still depend on advanced air equipment from Russia.[27] The air force has reduced its quantity in favor of quality over the years, with 1,300 fighter jets and 600 bombers. The thousands of J-6 fighters that were once the staple of the Chinese air force have been retired. Its air force is focused more on offensive capabilities than defensive capabilities now.[28] China’s General Liu Yazhou was hailed as the “Douhet of China”† for his air warfare strategies that are shaping China’s air force into a “strategic force designed to perform independent, offensive, and decisive roles in future roles.”[29]

China’s ballistic missile capabilities are also noteworthy. While the focus of the 1,000+ short range ballistic missiles is on Taiwan, China possesses the ability to shift its resources toward Southeast Asia; Burma is well within China’s missile range. It is also developing more accurate medium-range missiles. Although China has advanced its missile arsenal, which now includes new and untested anti-ship ballistic missiles, it doesn’t fundamentally change the military situation in Burma. Still, it would prevent other powers from easily aiding the Burma in a crisis – notably the United States.[30] In the 1950s, Burma’s military leaders accepted that China was their only external threat and sought to create a defensive force capable of holding out until the United States arrived, as it did in the Korean War. However, they eventually decided to simply strengthen ties with China to remove that threat.[31] The external threat that China poses still remains. The deterrent capabilities of China vis-à-vis the U.S. have likely crossed the minds of Burma’s current leaders.

China’s military modernization efforts have been making its neighbors nervous. It is difficult to determine China’s intentions from its military’s growth. Chinese General Chen Bingde stated, “Our efforts to grow our economy is to ensure that the 1.3 billion people are better off. We do not want to use the money to buy equipment or advanced weapons systems to challenge the United States.”[32] But even if this modernization is benign and only affects China’s core national interests in the South China Sea and across the Taiwan Strait, the consequences for the long-run are unforeseeable for Burma. Burma has since diversified its arms procurement to include suppliers in Russia, Ukraine, and North Korea.[33] If China’s military is designed to coerce smaller powers in Southeast Asia, then Burma’s democratic reforms might be a signal to bring the United States into the region to balance against China’s enhanced military capabilities.

Ethnic Tensions from Chinese Economic Intrusion

Ethnic tensions between Burmans and Chinese have been heated since the late 1960s’ anti-Chinese riots. The civil war between the Chinese-backed communist insurgents and Burmese forces continued until a ceasefire agreement was reached in 1989.[34] Still, Burma’s draconian attempts to wipe the armed ethnic groups out have intensified ethnic relations. The June 2011 Burmese assaults on the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have created 20,000 internally displaced persons‡ according to aid groups.[35] These attempts to destroy armed ethnic groups by the Burmese government often lead to illegal refugee border crossings into China and have caused China’s PLA to deploy over 2,000 troops along the border. The KIA has said that the PLA deployed troops opposite to KIA facilities (which were likely to get raided) to prevent refugees from crossing.[36] This net, designed to keep war-scarred people out of China, is an insensitive method to contain the problem and is a source for ethnic tensions. Yunnan Provincial authorities have stated they will close the 16 refugee camps that support nearly 7,000 people. As the Kachin people played a major role in the anti-Japanese force during WWII, many had hoped China would be more amicable to the refugees who fled to “avoid being killed or raped by Burmese government troops.”[37]

While illegal refugees flowing into China is a large problem for Yunnan Province, the influx of illegal Chinese immigrants into Burma is a greater social and economic disturbance. The presence of Chinese culture is visible and often a source of strife. Burma has 300,000 registered Chinese immigrants and an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants. “In Mandalay, Yunnan-Chinese are estimated to make up 20 percent of the local population, whereas in Lashio [in the northern Shan State] the share is as high as 50 percent.”[38] Mandalay boasts a strong Chinese community with ubiquitous Chinese signs and “ethnic markets” that sell vegetables fit for the typical Chinese diet. However, ethnic-Chinese, who have long been assimilated into Burmese society, often face discrimination directed against Chinese immigrant workers and are frequently the subjects of prejudice, losing in education and employment opportunities.[39]

China’s enterprising spirit often undermines the environmental integrity of Burma’s interior. The northern armed ethnicities allow Chinese companies to extract timber and minerals in exchange for goods and funds, but Beijing doesn’t have environmental laws to that prohibit companies from damaging the local ecology.[40] In 2006, Burma and China reached a deal to develop a series of dams to bring energy to China’s less-developed Yunnan Province. The $3.6 billion Myitsone Dam and its subsequent dams would have further destroyed Burma’s environment. Due to growing anti-Chinese sentiment and demonstrations outside the Chinese embassies, President U Thein Sein on 30 September 2011 suspended the project, stating, “it was contrary to the will of the people.”[41] Before President Then Sein discontinued the dam project, Chan Tun, former ambassador of Burma to China posited, “If the Chinese government continues this project [Myitsone Dam], I suspect it could result in anti-Chinese riots like those in the 1960s in our country.”[42] The KIA cautioned that the Dam would have caused a civil war,[43] and was soon followed by the Burmese assault on the armed minority as described above.

The growing anti-Chinese sentiment also emanates from other Chinese investments like the strategic 1100 km oil pipeline being constructed from one of the segments of its “String of Pearls” strategy at Ramree Island, Kyaukpyu in the Bay of Bengal to Kunming, Yunnan; this pipeline will also boast a 1,950 km parallel road to Yunnan Province.[44] The pipeline will transport the much needed crude oil from the Middle East to China and avoid the pirated straits of Malacca, providing electricity to China’s less-developed interior. China is also building a road and rail network to the port at Sittwe, which India is constructing, to Kunming.[45] China has invested $15.8 billion among 72 different projects in Burma, focusing in energy, electricity, transportation and agriculture.[46] The enterprises that enter Burma often bring in their own ethnically Chinese workers, adding little economic benefit to the local economy and refusing to assimilate to Burmese society. Soe San, a villager from the Irrawaddy Delta complained, “The Chinese get rich whilst we get poor.”[47] The ethnic tensions were described by Ko Ko Thett, a commentator for The Irrawaddy.

Imagine your home has been bulldozed for a dam construction project, your farm, which is your livelihood, has been seized without compensation, and you and your family are forcibly relocated. Then the Chinese immigrants come to work the land where your farm used to exist. This is the source of tensions.[48]

The hydroelectric dam and pipelines projects and their consequences on Burmese society are the strongest source of ethnic tensions. The Myitsone Dam would have displaced up to 15,000 people. The rising tensions that led to the suspension culminated in a bombing that killed 300 Chinese construction workers.[49] The economic intrusion of China’s development projects has given Burma’s leaders reason to bring in new players to balance against China, as seen by India’s recent pragmatic engagement ventures[50] and its reforms that are drawing in the United States. Otherwise, the country will once again be torn by anti-Chinese riots or perhaps that anger will be directed toward the government.

Events that Drive Reform

Burma’s leaders may have decided to reform its system due to the adverse effects of the “Saffron Revolution” and the Cyclone Nargis, which drained the regime’s political legitimacy. The leaders in Burma may be tired of constant civil war and political oppression, and the events in the past couple of years likely have compounded the people’s suffering. Perhaps the brutal crackdown in 1988 (8888 Uprising) that killed 3,000 people also played a role in the leadership’s decision, and more likely is the fear of repeating the anti-Chinese riots of 1967. Burma’s human rights and democracy reforms will enhance its growth, provide more jobs to local populations, and improve the standard of living after the tragic events of the past.

The so-called “Saffron Revolution” highly damaged the legitimacy of the military junta’s regime because they killed Buddhist monks in a society that is largely Buddhist. The movement was named after the traditional color of monk’s robes (which are now reddish brown), but was intended to parallel color revolutions happening elsewhere in the world. The movement differed from normal oppression because the violent crackdown was televised, and not simply rumor. David Steinberg has suggested that, “Even the military, whose leadership is devoutly Buddhist, may have been conflicted by the actions the junta authorized.”[51] The regime built its legitimacy on Buddhism; they fed monks, repaired pagodas, and donated funds. The protests originally began as a protest against the government’s lifting of oil subsidies, which increased the prices of gas and oil; it was joined by political dissidents and youth activists who protected the monks and resulted in the violent crackdown that killed at least 31 individuals. Buddhism is a “singularly important element of political legitimacy” in Burma, and the junta defiled their leadership with their crackdown.[52]

On 2 May 2008, the most devastating disaster to hit Burma, Cyclone Nargis, killed approximately 138,000 people. The government issued warnings, but they didn’t emphasize the severity of the storm. The most-affected areas were isolated from the notices, leaving many unaware of their impending fate. The government could calculate the exact number of dead ducks, chickens, and water buffalo, but it could not account for dead Burmese with the same accuracy. Cyclone Nargis caused an estimated $2.4 billion in damages, which was 27 percent of Burma’s GDP in 2007. The United States had vessels offshore, prepared to provide $75 million in disaster relief, but was denied visas. They were barred from entry to prevent foreign oversight over Burma’s constitutional referendum. The original referendum was supposed to be on 10 May, as it was an especially auspicious day for the junta’s ambitions, but it had to be postponed in the areas wrecked by the cyclone to 24 May. Foreigners were denied visas until 24 May. The junta feared an invasion by the United States, who had been called for regime change since the 8888 Uprising. On top of this farce, the junta unsuccessfully attempted to raise $11 billion in funds for disaster relief and prohibited foreign powers from delivering the relief themselves to the affected areas.[53] Clearly, this vast sum of money would have gone in the pockets of Burma’s military leaders, highlighting the government’s disregard for the people’s welfare.

These tragic events have exhausted the political legitimacy of the regime in Burma. Whether or not Burma’s ex-military leaders are regretful of their administrative failures, they recognize that their country is instable and could turn to real revolution or civil war due to their deteriorated legitimacy.


Reform in Burma is occurring right now because of the engagement initiatives of the Obama administration and the willingness of Aung San Suu Kyi to work with the regime. The atmosphere of Chinese dominance has caused ethnic strife, economic intrusion and environmental degradation, and the regime’s mishandlings in 2007 and 2008 placed the proverbial last straw upon the regime’s fatigued political legitimacy.

The regime has reached a point of legitimacy exhaustion and is turning to the United States and other powers to revitalize the country’s economy and people. China’s increasing power adds purpose to the improvement of relations with its neighbors, India and ASEAN, and most importantly, the United States. The anxiety instilled by China’s military growth is intensified by the years of conflict between the Chinese-backed communist insurgents in Burma. This already uneasy economic relationship between Burma and China is weakened by ethnic tensions between Chinese immigrant workers and jobless Burmese. The fear of repeating the anti-Chinese race riots that occurred in 1967 is certainly in the minds of Burma’s leaders, as this could easily create more instability if China was to resume its policies of supporting Chinese insurgents in the north.

Burma’s leaders seek to make progress on the fronts of human rights and democracy to avoid repeats of its tumultuous past, balance against China, and to prevent the regime’s ouster by a disgruntled public because of its dwindled legitimacy.

[1] Steinberg, David I. "The United States and Myanmar: a ‘boutique Issue’?"International Affairs 86, no. 1 (2010): pp. 175-94.

[2] Steinberg, David I. Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know, p. 119. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

[3] Ibid, pp. 132-34.

[4] See 1.

[5] Wan, William. "Clinton Arrives in Burma to Assess Progress on Reforms."Washington Post. November 30, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[6] "Barack Obama Suggests New Relationships with Burma." November 18, 2011. Accessed December 10, 2011.

[7] Chalermpalanupap, Termsak. "ASEAN's Policy of Enhanced Interactions." In Myanmar/Burma: inside Challenges, outside Interests, edited by Alexis Rieffel, p. 160. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2010.

[8] See 5.

[9] Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. "Burma Partnership." Burma Partnership. November 9, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[10] Finch, Steve. "Burmese Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Freed in Rangoon as Crowds Celebrate."Washington Post. November 13, 2010. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[11] Campbell, Kurt. "Deeply Dissapointed." Interview by Aung Zaw. The Irrawaddy. March 23, 2010. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[12] "Aung San Suu Kyi Party Unveils Logo in Myanmar Politics Run."Telegraph. December 12, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[13] Tea, Billy. "China and Myanmar: Strategic Interests, Strategies and the Road Ahead."Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, September 26, 2010, p. 2.

[14] Steinberg, David I. Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know, pp. 20-21.

[15] Kuomintang Aggression against Burma, Ministry of Information, Government of the Union of Burma, 1953, p. 159.

[16] Steinberg, David I. Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know, pp. 45-46.

[17] Ibid, pp. 49-50.

[18] Tin Maung Maung Than. Proceedings of China-Myanmar Relations: The Dilemmas of Mutual Dependence, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2011.

[19] Hongwei, Fan. "China-Burma Geopolitical Relations in the Cold War.” Research School of Southeast Asian Studies, Xiamen University, 2011, p. 6.

[20] Ibid, p. 12.

[21] Shen, Zhihua, and Kuisong Yang. The Declassified Record of U.S. Intelligence on China: 1948-1976. Vol. 5-6. Beijing: Oriental Press, 2009. p. 299. * Thant Myint-U is the grandson of U Thant, a popular figure and former Secretary General of the United Nations.

[22] Haacke, Jürgen. "The Nature and Management of Myanmar's Alignment with China: The SLORC/SPDC Years."Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 30, no. 2 (September 23, 2011): p. 120.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Weitz, Richard. "Nervous Neighbors: China Finds a Sphere of Influence."World Affairs, March/April 2011.

[25] Swaine, Michael D. "China’s Military Muscle."Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. January 19, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011.

[26] Tea, Billy. "Unstringing China's Strategic Pearls."Asia Times Online. March 11, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011. **Burma’s Sittwe port, which is considered to be one part of this strategy, was actually initialized by India in April 2009 in its own SLOC security project. The small facility at Sittwe is being constructed by the Indian company, Essar Projects. They are also constructing a river jetty at Paletwa and building a 120 km road to India.

[27] See 25.

[28] "Chinese Air Forces." Accessed December 11, 2011. †Giulio Douhet was an Italian general and air power theorist known for strategic bombing theory.

[29] Jiang, Guocheng. "Building an Offensive and Decisive PLAAF."Air and Space Power Journal - Winter 2011. June 1, 2010. Accessed December 11, 2011.

[30] See 25.

[31] Steinberg, David I. Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know, p. 49.

[32] "PLA: Chinese Military Doesn’t Compare to U.S. Military."Defense Tech. May 19, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011.

[33] Lintner, Bertil. "Burma Delivers Its First Rebuff To China."YaleGlobal. October 3, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[34] Guo, Xiaolin. "Boom on the Way from Ruili to Mandaly." In Myanmar/Burma: inside Challenges, outside Interests, edited by Alexis Rieffel, p. 88. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2010. ‡ Secretary Clinton’s human rights deputy director Richard Sollom called the human rights violations “heineous,” as Burmese troops used villagers to walk in front of them as minesweepers, fired automatic rounds into civilian villages, and stole food and supplies from civilians.

[35] Allchin, Joseph. "Kachin IDPs ‘suffering Food Shortage, Disease’."Democratic Voice of Burma. November 30, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[36] "Over 2,000 Chinese Troops Arrive at Burma Border."Kachin News Group. October 18, 2011.

[37] "China Tells Kachin Refugees "go back to Burma""Kachin News Group. December 9, 2011.

[38] See 34, p. 96.

[39] Ibid, pp. 95-96.

[40] Li, Chenyang, and Liang Fook Lye. "China's Policies towards Myanmar: A Successful Model for Dealing with the Myanmar Issue?"China: An International Journal 7, no. 2 (September 2009): 272. doi:10.1142/S0219747209000351.

[41] See 33.

[42] Kaung, Ba. "Myitsone Dam Outrage Turns Toward China."The Irrawaddy. September 21, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Portail, Annonces. "Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port Project and Highways to Be Built in Burma by China."Burma Centre Delhi. February 19, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011.

[45] Ganesan, N. "Myanmar-China Relations: Interlocking Interests but Independent Output."Japanese Journal of Political Science 12, no. 1 (2011): 106.

[46] "President Signs Key Economic, Development Deals with China."Myanmar Times Online. June 12, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2011.

[47] Birke, Sarah. "Ethnic Tensions Grow in Myanmar."The National. June 3, 2010.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Sutter, Robert G. "South Asia, Central Asia, and Asian Russia." In The United States in Asia, p. 129. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

[51] Steinberg, David I. In Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know, p. 137.

[52] Ibid, pp. 135-139.

[53] Ibid, pp. 139-142.

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The Causes of Burma/Myanmar’s Democratization
The George Washington University
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Burma, Democracy, Human Rights, Aung San Suu Kyi, Clinton, History, Ethnic Tensions, Insurgency, Balance, China, United States, Asia
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Steven Wittenberg (Author), 2011, The Causes of Burma/Myanmar’s Democratization, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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