Regional


The Chinese charm offensive in the new era of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Decmocracy (NLD) government has visibly been in full swing lately.

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Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD government faced a tough situation with China at the time of their inauguration in March. But, as she visits Beijing this week, hopes are high again in China that a redirection of Myanmar’s foreign policy could be underway and the pendulum of Myanmar’s balancing diplomacy is swinging back to the east. But many challenges lie ahead. These include resolution of the Myitsone dam impasse, repositioning political relations between the two countries, and peaceful settlement of ethnic conflicts in the Myanmar borderlands. The stakes are very high. The outcome of Aung San Suu Kyi’s meetings could well come to define Myanmar-China relations for many years to come.

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State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi left for China today at the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang.

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Discussion about a fourth option for the Myitsone dam project has generated great interest in Myanmar and China since late June. The fourth option – outlined in a commentary by Mr Joern Kristensen in the June 30 issue of Frontier – calls for the cancellation of the controversial project and for China and Myanmar to move ahead, and cooperate on other, mutually agreed hydropower projects.

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It’s complicated: In an interview with The Irrawaddy, longtime Burma expert Bertil Lintner assesses the many interests at play during State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China on Wednesday.

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When the news finally made its way to her home in Tanintharyi Region, Daw Phyu Khine knew she had to go to Yangon. Having no better plan, she went out to Yangon Airport and waited in the arrivals hall on August 8, hope and anxiety vying in her face.

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For State Councillor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, the upcoming visit to China (17-19 August) will be the most significant foreign trip ever for her country since the National league of Democracy took power last November. For the first time in sixty years since the U Nu government, Myanmar is now engaging with China as a democratic country.

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Myanmar’s State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to make a four-day visit to China from Aug. 17. Because of her de facto leadership status, Suu Kyi is likely to be received as a head of state and meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

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Burma’s peace process and the controversial Myitsone Dam will be on the agenda when Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s foreign affairs minister, visits China this week and meets with Chinese leaders, according to ministry spokesman Kyaw Zeya.

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A low-key visit to Burma last week by a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official revealed that Beijing still sees the country’s former dictator as a “political force” in the country’s affairs more than five years after his retirement.

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India and Myanmar reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral issues during the 15th round of Foreign Office Consultations here, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.
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The Burmese embassy in Bangkok has acknowledged that cards it had issued to two Burmese migrants rights groups working in Thailand had been “confiscated”, but denied that the move would affect the groups’ ability to operate in the country.

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The Union Election Commission of Myanmar reported turnout at 69 percent for the historic 2015 elections within the country. Outside of the country, the story was very different. Fewer than 20,000 external voters engaged their political right at the ballot box abroad. This amounted to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the over four million people who compose the Burmese diaspora.

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Five years ago, when cold pills first trickled across Myanmar’s untamed border with India, many local officials were baffled. Where was this medicine going, and why were smugglers so interested in it?

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s state counselor and foreign minister, is scheduled to visit China for four days from next week, according to the President’s Office.

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Lao President Bounnhang Vorachitch’s just-ended official goodwill visit to Myanmar has enhanced bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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In a backroom heavy with sawdust, Mr Akkarin Puri, 33, carefully examines the veneer of a half-finished guitar. There was a time when the craftsman’s attention was more focused on inhaling the vapours from a pill of yaba – a methamphetamine – heated over a flame. In fact, by the age of 21, his drug habit had landed him in juvenile detention at least six times and a military lock-up for 18 months.

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So that they could attend the summit in the border town of Mai Ja Yang in Kachin State, the Chinese authorities allowed ethnic armed group leaders to travel freely through Chinese territory from the Muse border in northern Shan State—a marked departure from previous practice.

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AT the CB Bank branch in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon, there’s a dedicated “Japan desk”, where an employee of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) sits to handle any Japanese corporate business that comes their way.

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Thai authorities have arrested and deported up to 10,000 Myanmar nationals working in the country as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants during the last 10 days, an official from a Myanmar nongovernmental organization that helps migrant workers said Monday.

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