News / Asia

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

TEXT SIZE - +
STATE DEPARTMENT - Burma is open for new foreign investment following the suspension of European and U.S. sanctions against the military-led government.
Burma: US, EU Investment Will Not Weaken China Economic Tiesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Stearns
May 24, 2012
Burma is open for new foreign investment following the suspension of European and U.S. sanctions against the military-led government. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how those new investments affect Burma's economic reliance on China.

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid