The logic of Myanmar’s China policy

The successive Myanmar governments have been dealing with a question of how to manage their relations with China in order to preserve the country’s independence, political autonomy, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity while asymmetry of power between the two countries is a reality. In the mid-1950s, the Myanmar government coined and popularized the term ” Pauk-Phaw ” (kinfolk) to guide and manage its relations with China. It is in the name of ” Pauk-Phaw ” that the Myanmar government has not only handled and resolved outstanding issues between the two countries but also stabilized the bilateral relationship whenever there is a problem.

In order to understand Myanmar’s approach towards China, this paper, therefore, raises the following question: what is the logic behind Myanmar’s China policy? In other words, the paper tries to shed light on the substance of Myanmar’s ” Pauk-Phaw ” concept. It is hereby argued that the logic of Myanmar’s China policy, since the establish of diplomatic relations between the two countries, has been firmly based on Myanmar’s historical legacies, internal security challenges, geopolitical realities , and regional security context. While its foreign policy behaviors toward China have been adjusted occasionally, these fundamental elements remain relatively unaltered in the logic of Myanmar’s China policy.

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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