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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Sino-Burmese friendship: Origins, development and motivations
by Pels, Daphne Berenice, M.A., University of Leeds (United Kingdom), 2008, 49; 1466120
Abstract (Summary)

The Sino-Burmese relationship should not be underestimated. Especially with the growing importance of China as a global superpower and the position Burma takes in international relations in the Asian region. Diplomatic ties between the two countries existed centuries ago, but have become stronger since 1949. Challenged by internal as well as external issues and threats, the relationship has grown towards a mutual beneficial friendship, serving economic as well as strategic interests. Bilateral trade has expanded tremendously and Chinese investment projects in Burma have increased, mainly in the development of Burmese transportation links with China's Yunnan Province. Chinese assistance in the construction of Burmese ports and the oil pipeline transferring crude oil from Middle Eastern and North African countries into Yunnan Province, serve China's geo-strategic interests. While the junta is able to generate income through trade and investments and gets the protection it needs from China to fend off UN sanctions, Chinese firms are being permitted increased access to Burmese territory and its natural resources. In addition, both countries are also involved in the cooperation on non-traditional security issues, such as disease control, drug trade, environmental concerns and social stability.

This thesis analyses the development and objectives of the relationship between China and Burma and evaluates its importance with regards to international and mostly regional relations and its position in the international balance of power. Especially the role of India is highlighted, which plays an important role, sharing similar interests with China in Burma. The writer intends to present the conditions under which both countries have developed their relationship and how this is linked to their domestic needs and future aims. Based on historical, cultural, economic and geo-strategic arguments, this paper explains why the Sino-Burmese relationship matters and illustrates the interdependence of states in the region, India and ASEAN in particular.

For this paper the writer has used a wide selection of available papers, information provided by international organisations, NGOs and local governments, and books written on country-specific issues as well as developments in the Asia Pacific region. By using both neo-realist as well as constructivist arguments, the writer has aimed to inform the reader about the origins, developments and motivations of the Sino-Burmese relationship, in order to get a better understanding of its importance and possible future implications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dosch, Joern
School: University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
School Location: England
Source: MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: History, International law, Ethnic studies
Keywords: China, Myanmar
Publication Number: 1466120
ISBN: 978-1-109-15396-5
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