News / Asia

Burma: US, EU Investment Will Not Weaken China Economic Ties

STATE DEPARTMENT - Burma is open for new foreign investment following the suspension of European and U.S. sanctions against the military-led government.

Burma is changing and so is its relationship with the West.

Pro-democracy advocate Aung Sung Suu Kyi is now a member of parliament.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is an honored guest.  And Western leaders say the political reforms warrant the gradual reopening of relations.

"Many of us have taken action to open up trade and investment with Burma for the first time in many years, and we have had discussions with the leadership there. Our hope is that this process will continue, and we're going to do everything that we can to encourage that process," said U.S. President Barack Obama at the recent G8 summit near Washington.

So what does the easing of European Union and U.S. sanctions against Burma mean for its longstanding trade ties with China?

"We have had a very good cooperation with China.  So I think that this will not jeopardize the future relations with China," he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States recognizes ties between Burma and China.

"So this is not about any other nation," said Clinton.  "This is between us. This is rooted in the changes we have watched happen and our desire to support the continuation of those changes."

Doug Bandow, at Washington's Cato Institute, says both Burma and China are changing.

"They are seeing, I think, in Burma this kind of move to the West," said Bandow.  "I think part of that is concern about this very tight embrace with Beijing. So I think China is learning that it is going to have to engage in diplomacy too."

He believes Burma's reforms are based, in part, on not wanting to end up like North Korea, an impoverished pariah state dependent on China alone.

Just before sanctions were suspended, Burma stopped work on a $3 billion Chinese hydroelectric dam following protests by environmental activists. But instead of frustrating Chinese investment, Brookings Institution fellow Lex Rieffel says it may help move the relationship forward.

"There are some parts of the policy community in China that were upset by the dam being built in the first place [and] are not unhappy that it has been stopped and believe that this very important long-term relationship between China and Myanmar will improve once this obstacle is removed," Rieffel explained.

Burmese officials say new investments help support political reforms. But U.S. officials could tighten sanctions again if those reforms do not continue.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Regent from: Singapore
May 28, 2012 4:09 PM
It is simply China and the west working together to divide up and loot Burma.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs