US-Myanmar Relations

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  • US reorients policy towards Myanmar after Tillerson Visit

    It may be appropriate if the US were to complement its substantial humanitarian and economic assistance by encouraging or even exerting pressure on Myanmar to implement the KAC recommendations.

    November 27, 2017

    US–Burma Relations: Change of Politics under the Bush and Obama Administrations

    The article analyses US–Burma relations under two different US administrations. Since the failed 1988 democracy uprising in Burma, the United States of America and the Union of Burma have had a strained relationship. This resulted in the US government's downgrading of its representative from ambassador to chargé d'affaires. The Republican administration of President George W. Bush pursued an isolationist policy by imposing sanctions on Burma from 2001 to 2009. When President Barack H.

    March 2013

    Obama’s Visit to Myanmar

    Obama’s visit strengthens the hands of President U Thein Sein and has raised expectation that it would encourage the Myanmar government to address the democratisation and ethnic challenges.

    November 29, 2012

    Parag Bisht asked: What are the Chinese and US interests in Myanmar, and what are its implications for India?

    Udai Bhanu Singh replies: Both China and the US are conscious of their economic and strategic stakes in Myanmar. However, it was China that seized the opportunity (especially after 1988) to exercise influence in Myanmar at a time when the US ostracised the military regime for neglecting human rights and democracy. The US followed a two-pronged approach of sanctions and non-engagement till the visit in November 2011 of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. China utilised the economic and strategic opportunity in Myanmar:

    • To develop its backward Yunnan province by exploiting Myanmar’s natural resources, sending its surplus population across the border and advancing its business interests.
    • To access energy from off-shore Arakan region laying a dual pipeline starting from Kyaukphyu.
    • To provide access to landlocked parts of its territory to the Indian Ocean through Myanmar by means of road, rail and river connectivity.

    The US belatedly realised for following reasons that it too had interests in Myanmar:

    • The rise of China and its growing influence in Myanmar accompanied by increased assertiveness in the South China Sea and multilateral bodies.
    • Negative impact on the US business interests.

    For India, Myanmar is important due to following reasons:

    • A key component of its neighbourhood and Look East Policy.
    • Critical to the comprehensive development of its North-eastern region, and for curbing insurgency.
    • As a source of energy.
    • Growing Chinese influence and its implications for the Indian Ocean and other non-traditional security issues.

    Myanmar and the United States: On a Reconciliatory Path?

    The current trajectory of developments is likely to lead to the point where the US and the Sein government find ways to resolve outstanding points of contention between them, leading to Myanmar moving further along the path of greater political freedom, better human rights and good governance.

    February 14, 2012

    Myanmar after Hillary Clinton’s visit

    Clinton’s visit signals acceptance by the international community that the process of transition in Myanmar has begun and opens up new avenues for Myanmar in its domestic and foreign relations.

    December 12, 2011

    Myanmar: America’s Next Rogue State

    There are embryonic signs that Washington is all set to turn the heat on Myanmar next. The UN Security Council finally agreed unanimously on December 2 to a US request for a “one-off briefing” by the Secretary-General on “the deteriorating situation” in Myanmar. The US request followed the Tatmadow’s extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest and a UN Committee resolution condemning Myanmar’s human rights abuse.

    December 14, 2005