Myanmar pivots uneasily away from China

Myanmar pivots uneasily away from China
Long in the shadow of its powerful neighbor, the increasingly open, independent country finds itself unable to completely pull away
3-24-13 Myanmar’s recent pivot from China toward the West, and a more open government, came as a surprise to many outsiders. In rapid succession, President Thein Sein’s government suspended the $3.6-billion Chinese-built Myitsone hydroelectric project, held nominally free elections and released political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In reality, though, anti-China sentiment had been building for years, say foreign academics, Yangon businessmen and former military officials. That apprehension grew even within the nation’s armed forces, where officers believed Myanmar, also known as Burma, was being exploited by its giant neighbor.

As Myanmar becomes increasingly open, public protests have heightened over China’s role in its affairs. “The Chinese are still in a state of shock,” said Thuta Aung, head of Hamsa Hub, a business development firm in Yangon, also known as Rangoon. “In the past, they’d partner with the [Myanmar] military and do whatever they wanted as long as they put money under the table. Now villagers have more voice.”

Yet even as Myanmar rebalances its foreign policy, it’s unlikely to fully snub Beijing given China’s proximity, growing international clout and the nations’ historical relationship, analysts said. Though the Myitsone development was suspended, for instance, it wasn’t canceled, and numerous other Chinese oil, gas, pipeline and resource projects continue apace.

“People are delighted with the dam suspension, but it only extends through President Thein Sein’s term,” said Suu Nget, a Mandalay writer. “We’ll need to battle again in 2015.”

Even Suu Kyi deferred to Beijing this month, recommending that the Chinese-backed Letpadaung copper mine continue despite local outrage over seized land, health problems and poisoned water.

Nor is China keen to walk away from Myanmar’s promising consumer market and position astride key Indian Ocean shipping lanes….”When our government indicated it would end censorship, China wasn’t very supportive.”

Distrust of Beijing stems in part from fears, particularly in the north, of being overrun by China.

“No one likes the Chinese,” said Yan Naing, 38, a Mandalay disc jockey. “It feels like an invasion.”…

Also drawing ire is the trafficking of women to southern China, either as sex workers or wives purchased to help rectify China’s male surplus. China accounts for about 80% of human trafficking victims, Myanmar police reported in late 2012.

“The Burmese are very keen to get out of the embrace of the Chinese,” said Morten Pedersen, a senior lecturer with the Australian Defense Force Academy. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-myanmar-china-20130324,0,1307374.story

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Farmers protesting at Chinese copper mine in late August (Photo -EMG)

9-29-12 Villagers found out that the government has leased their land to the mine company for 60 years without consulting them. According to them, 7,680 acres of farmlands from 22 villages have been confiscated, including four villages that were forcibly removed. http://elevenmyanmar.com/business/807-umehl-negotiates-big-mining-project-with-locals

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3-23-13

Oil and natural gas continue to be the preferred choice of foreign direct investment in Myanmar (Burma), followed by manufacturing and public services sectors.

Major investors include Japan, Singapore, China, Britain and Vietnam.

Out of the US$253 million invested from these countries, bout US$190 million accounted for the oil and natural gas sectors. Singapore also has invested over $49 million in manufacturing. http://elevenmyanmar.com/business/2892-investment-in-myanmar-reaches-over-42-billion-dollar

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Daewoo seeks more offshore oil and gas, DICA says
21 January 2013
The local unit of South Korean conglomerate Daewoo, Myanmar Daewoo Ltd., is in discussions with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration to increase its investment here, DICA said.
It said Daewoo was seeking to increase its investment in offshore oil and gas exploration but did not provide a figure, though it said the company was eyeing areas off Rakhine State.

The Korean giant has a substantial stake in the country’s oil and gas industry through a gas project in the western offshore area, Block AD-7. It sold a 40 percent stake to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer last October.

http://elevenmyanmar.com/business/2198-daewoo-seeks-more-offshore-oil-and-gas-dica-says

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12-24-12

President Thein Sein met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in India (Photo – The President’s Office)

Myanmar plays a critical role in bolstering India’s “Look East Policy”, says Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 21 when he met with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein in New Delhi.

India is aware of Myanmar’s strategic significance “because of China’s increasing economic presence” and the country is anxious about a possible Chinese presence on the Bay of Bengal in the future, Singh said.

Look East Policy, which was initiated in 1991, marked a strategic shift in India’s perspective of the world.The two leaders met during President Thein Sein’s visit to India to attend 20th Asean-India Commemorative Summit. http://elevenmyanmar.com/politics/1866-myanmar-crucial-in-india-s-look-east-policy-singh

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By definition a nation’s leadership is an elite. It is when this elite becomes self-serving that the problems of the nation rise.     -Messenger E C Prophet, p. 105 of http://books.google.com/books?id=-HVCQjNiM1kC&pg=RA2-PA16&dq=clare+prophet+lincoln+abraham&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vesWUfLXPKWEiwLvKg&ved=0CGQQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=clare%20prophet%20lincoln%20abraham&f=false
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  The vulnerability of the lightbearer is in his own word.  By thy words thou shalt be justified; by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Let thy word then reflect the plumbline of Truth.  And let the violet flame brace the consciousness
-Archangel Michael: 12-30-1980 at Camelot, Los Angeles, see http://books.google.com/books?id=61irHqKBlDIC&pg=PA87&dq=clare+prophet+thy+word+plumbline&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R_AWUayEFrSGiQLF64G4DQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=clare%20prophet%20thy%20word%20plumbline&f=false
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  You cannot believe in reincarnation unless you will also stand, face and conquer the deeds of the past….
They may attempt to divide the Body of God upon earth by religious schism and argumentation, by placing the emphasis on the letter of the law.    -Morya: 7-2-1984 at RTR, Montana, see http://books.google.com/books?id=-8_lnEa5lHcC&pg=RA1-PA17&dq=clare+prophet+schism+argumentation&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1y0YUaivAuS7igKrz4CgDw&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=clare%20prophet%20schism%20argumentation&f=false
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