What’s next for U.S.-Myanmar relations?
A March piece from two scholars in CSIS’s Southeast Asia Program called “Lessons Learned in Normalization: The U.S. and Myanmar Can Benefit from Studying Dos and Don’ts from Vietnam” proposes a road map for cooperation between the two countries in the wake of Secretary Clinton’s successful visit to Myanmar this spring. More recently, the parliamentary elections that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and 42 other members of her National League for Democracy party selected at the ballot box are a promising sign that Myanmar will continue to open up. Perhaps the multilateral elephant in the room for this improving bilateral relationship is China, which until Naypidaw’s liberalization had provided the a good deal of infrastructure construction (and also benefited from Myanmar’s natural resources) when Myanmar was off-limits for Western companies due to sanctions. For example, Naypidaw has recently slowed or halted some of its China-led damming projects, which likely has Beijing irked. But given the recent drama closer to home, China’s probably more focused on its domestic issues and bilateral relation with the U.S. than these relatively less important projects and deals in Myanmar. Photo from the second link (article from Deutsche Welle).