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Han, Enze (2017) 'Geopolitics, Ethnic Politics along the Border, and Chinese Foreign Policy Changes toward Myanmar.' Asian Security, 13 (1). pp. 59-73.

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Ever since Myanmar reoriented its foreign policy as a result of its transition to democratic rule in 2010, it has significantly improved its relations with the West, particularly the United States. Amid heightened geostrategic competition between the U.S. and China, how can we understand the Chinese government’s changing approaches to Myanmar, where China’s strategic and economic interests face unprecedented pressure? This article examines those changes in the context of the Chinese government’s response to three militarized ethnic conflicts along its border with Myanmar before and after Myanmar’s foreign policy reorientation. Drawing evidence from Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs statements and Chinese media coverage of the 2009 and 2015 Kokang conflicts and the 2011-2013 Kachin conflict, the article argues that combined geopolitical changes and domestic nationalist signaling explain the variations of China’s foreign policy approaches to Myanmar. The article thus contributes to ongoing interest in China’s foreign policy approaches to Southeast Asia in the wake of geostrategic competition between China and the United States.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISSN: 15552764
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Asian Security on 17 Feb 2017, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2017 13:38

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