Regional


Imphal: India and Myanmar have decided to shape up the proposed joint-venture thermal power project in Myanmar’s Sagaing region, boosting the bilateral ties of the two neighboring countries.
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It is just after 8am on a sunny Saturday morning and the Muse border post is buzzing. The line of Burmese waiting for permits to cross under the towering faux pagoda and into China for work is already dozens deep. Guards in olive green uniforms check the paperwork of a woman pushing a cart stacked high with boxes in the other direction. A long-haired Burmese hipster in a leather jacket passes through unmolested on a shiny new red Honda with low-rider handlebars. Then a pretty young Chinese woman, upright on a pink electric scooter with a blue parasol, glides through straight on to the ragged verge, narrowly avoiding the oncoming trucks which, stacked high with boxes of Chinese-made TVs and washing machines, kick up swirls of dust as they buck down the thoroughfare.
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In eastern Myanmar, just a stone’s throw from the Chinese border, lies a den of drug smuggling, gambling, and vice.
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The underperforming US$1 billion gas pipeline through Burma into China was built by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to please political leaders in Beijing rather than for sound practical reasons, a report claims. (more…)

China imported 1.87 billion cubic metres of gas through the China-Myanmar gas pipeline in its first year of operation, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Monday, as the pipeline slowly ramps up to full capacity.
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The Modi government will step up its engagement with Myanmar in the coming month with the visit of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for her first bilateral engagement with the leadership in Naypyidaw.
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According to a report by Eleven Group on the 20th, Myanmar Ministry of Railway Transportation formally released information that the Sino-Myanmar Kyaukpyu-Kunming Railway project has run aground. It  said that the MOU, signed in 2011, has expired, but “China did not continue the conversation and the Ministry of Railway Transportation does not have a plan to implement it.”  On July 21st, an authoritative figure who participated in the project verified to Global Times that “the push for a related project has been put on hold.”
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According to information released by the Myanmar Ministry of Railway Transportation, the Sino-Myanmar Kyaukpyu-Kunming Railway has run aground.
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Although China remains the biggest foreign investor in Myanmar, investments from other countries are quickly catching up in the Southeast Asian nation, which was once a pariah in the international community.
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More than 700 workers protested Thursday in front of the South Korean Embassy in Myanmar to demand officials help them after a Korean-owned factory closed without paying their wages.
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The Shan Human Rights Foundation, a community based human rights organisation, claims that since June 11th the Burma Army has been attacking civilians and is contravening its ceasefire agreement with the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N).
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North Korean officials have extended an informal invitation for Burmese journalists to travel to their country and learn about the situation there, journalists say.
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Imports from China continue to exceed exports to Myanmar’s largest trading partner, with the imbalance rising to nearly US$1.2 billion in the last fiscal year, government figures show.
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DHAKA : Bangladesh said Thursday it has barred official marriages between its nationals and Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya refugees, whom it claims are attempting to wed to gain citizenship.
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China continues to be the largest investor in Myanmar with more than US$14 billion of cumulative investment as of the end of June, according to latest data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
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At first blush, Myanmar, hardly a naval power and not exactly a major diplomatic heavyweight, would seem an odd place for China to seek relief from its headaches in the South China Sea.
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China is eager to reaffirm its traditional political and military ties with Burma amid escalating conflicts in the South China Sea, experts say, as the Burmese president prepares for his first official bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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According to the Burma Times, Myanmar is looking to purchase a license to domestically produce the J-17 aircraft, which is called the FC-1 Xiaolong in China. If the report is accurate, it would make Myanmar the first foreign purchaser of the jet. Currently, only Pakistan’s Air Force operates the J-17 and, as Ankit has reported, Islamabad is in the process of making a number of upgrades to the fighter jet.
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For more than a century the Road to Mandalay has evoked longing, nostalgia and the exotic East for artists ranging from Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell to Frank Sinatra and Robbie Williams.
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On May 28, as the latest skirmish unfolded between Bangladesh’s Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP), leaving one BGB member dead, the uneasy relationship between the two neighbors again came to the fore. Although Bangladesh is mostly surrounded by India, it does share a short border with Myanmar, the importance of which has increased dramatically over the past decade. Despite the recent spate of unrest, Bangladesh is eager to resolve the simmering crisis, especially given Myanmar’s strategic importance as the gateway to China and ASEAN, and as a potential long-term supplier of natural gas.
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