China–Myanmar Energy Cooperation and Its Regional Implications

Hong Zhao


Although Myanmar is among the world’s oldest oil-producing countries, Chinese oil and gas companies did not start their oil and gas exploration projects there until recently. The most recent and significant China–Myanmar energy cooperation project is the oil and gas pipelines which got started in 2009. This paper will discuss the reasons and driving forces for this pipeline project and its broader objectives, and testify whether pipelines can deepen regional economic integration and strengthen bilateral relations. This paper concludes by saying that China might use the China–Myanmar pipeline construction as an opportunity to play a more constructive role in Myanmar’s domestic reforms, thus improving its image in Southeast Asia and strengthening its relations with Myanmar.

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