Myanmar’s China Policy since 2011: Determinants and Directions

Maung Aung Myoe


This paper argues that a key factor in Myanmar’s new approach towards China since 2011 has been the Myanmar government’s foreign policy goal to reintegrate itself into the international community. The success of this approach is dependent on Myanmar’s rapprochement with the United States, which requires both domestic political reforms and a foreign policy realignment – a need to reduce Myanmar’s dependence on China, particularly in the context of US–China strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific region. In the context of China–Myanmar relations, the factors that have influenced Myanmar’s China policy since 2011 are growing anti-China sentiment in Myanmar, growing concern over China’s interference in Myanmar affairs, and the rapprochement with the United States. Myanmar’s China policy shift, in terms of direction, is by no means to seek to be independent of China, but rather for there to be an increased interdependence between the two countries.

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