A. A. SIMONIA
Candidate of Economic Sciences
Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Republic of the Union of Myanmar Keywords:, President parliamentary by-election, Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy (NLD)
The parliamentary by-elections held in Myanmar on April 1, 2012, marked another step forward in the country's democratization and escape from international isolation. The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, which has become a globally recognized symbol of the struggle for political reform in Myanmar and the country's liberation from military dictatorship, won the by-election. Half a century ago, on March 2, a military regime led by General Ne Win came to power in Burma (since 1989 - Myanmar).
As a result of this coup, the country took a different path than its neighbors - Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and other countries that managed to get rid of the dictatorship and switch to the path of democratic development. Burma / Myanmar remained for many years under the yoke of the military regime, which in various forms was in power in the country. In September 1988, a new military coup took place in Burma. A military regime called the State Council for the Restoration of Law and Order, and since 1997-the State Council for Peace and Development-was in power until March 2011.
The military junta did not recognize the results of the parliamentary elections in May 1990, in which the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory. The military leadership in power for more than 20 years, which determined Myanmar's domestic and foreign policy, was never recognized as legitimate by Western countries.
In November 2010, the next general election was held, in which the NLD refused to participate due to disagreement with the adopted laws on elections and political parties. The overwhelming majority of seats in Parliament - 76.5% of the vote (883 seats out of 1,154) was won by the party in power created in the same year - the Union Solidarity and Development Party (SPSR), 25% of seats in the legislative assembly were allocated to representatives of the Myanmar armed forces even before the vote. The ruling party and the military together won 85% of seats in the lower house and 83% in the upper house of Parliament1. A week after the election, Aung San Suu Kyi, who had spent a total of 15 years under house arrest since 1989, was released.
On March 30, 2011, the permanent Chairman of the State Council for two decades (since 1992), Senior General Tan Shwe, announced the dissolution of the State Peace and Development Council and his resignation from all state and army posts. On the same day, the transfer of power to a new civilian government and the inauguration of President Thein Sein took place.2
The 50th anniversary of the military's stay in power has already found another country waking up from its slumber and trying to catch up with its neighbors.
HEIR TO THE "WISE LEADER OF THE NATION"
Shortly before the 2010 elections, the new constitution, approved in a referendum in May 2008, changed the country's name and all State symbols. The country became known as the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar". The new flag of the country is a rectangular panel with three equal horizontal stripes of yellow, green and red, in the middle of which is a white five-pointed star. The coat of arms and national anthem have also changed.
The new Head of State - former General and now President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Thein Sein (b.1946) - has been a member of the State Peace and Development Council since 1997, served as Acting Prime Minister since May 2007, and officially assumed this post in October 2007 after the death of his predecessor. From that moment on, he became the official face of the Burmese military government in the international arena.
Thein Sein was educated at the elite Military Academy (Defense Services Academy) in Meimyo (since 1989 - Pyin U Lwin). After graduating from the academy in 1968, he commanded an artillery battalion in a division stationed in Sagain. Further growth of his military career was promoted by the completion of the Command and Staff College in Kalo (Shan State) in 1989. General Tan Shwe, as Commander-in-Chief, appointed Colonel Thein Sein as his personal assistant, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General ahead of schedule.
In 1997. Thein Sein headed the then - established Regional Military Command in the area of the "Golden Triangle" (Triangle Region Command). In 2001, after the death of Lieutenant General Tin Wu in a helicopter accident, he took up the vacant post of Adjutant General, and two years later he was appointed second Secretary of the State Peace and Development Council. In 2004, after the arrest of the first sec-
Secretary of the State Peace and Development Council, General Khin Nyun, took over the post from Thein Sein. He also chaired the National Convention to write a new constitution.
Thein Sein owes his successful career to senior General Tan Shwe and pays him with personal loyalty. It was he who was charged with transforming the massive pro-government organization Union Association of Solidarity and Development into the future party of power-Union Party of Solidarity and Development. Senior General Tan Shwe needed a loyal, suitable man who could be presented to the world as the personification of the country's transition to democracy. According to the editor - in-chief of the Irrawaddy magazine, which is published by political expatriates in Thailand, Thein Sein is an ally that Tan Shwe can fully trust, who "will not rock the boat" and will not become a "fire-breathing dragon" that poses a threat to Tan Shwe. He will continue to follow all the instructions of his commanding officer 3. Tang Shwe was well aware that the authoritarian system of government that he had created would be inherited by his successors, generals as tough or even tougher than himself. He knew from his own experience that this did not bode well for himself or his family members.
Therefore, Senior General Tan Shwe has distributed his power among a number of individuals, but none of them has the kind of power that was concentrated in his hands. For himself, he took the role of a wise leader who gave way and opened the way for reforms. President Thein Sein is the most appropriate person to implement these plans. He is a loyal, self-contained person who feels comfortable and confident at international meetings. Perhaps his qualities as a diplomat also played a role in choosing this candidate for the post of president of the country. Looking ahead, Aung San Suu Kyi said after her meeting with the president that she trusts him and believes in the sincerity of his intentions to reform the country.
Senior General Tan Shwe's plans for the future President included an important role in the overall strategy of ensuring his own security and maintaining control over the country. The tasks of President Thein Sein for his five-year term are to achieve full legitimacy of the country's leadership, restore Myanmar to a decent position in the world community, preserve the results of privatization in 2009-2010, eliminate the threat of the "Arab Spring" in his country and avoid international investigations of the activities of the former military junta in Myanmar.
TURN TO REFORM
At the beginning of 2011, few people believed in real changes in the country, although the leadership nominally became civilian, but the same people remained in power. However, by the end of the year, there was hope that Myanmar was on the path of irreversible reforms. Overall, 2011 was the brightest and most significant year in recent decades. For the first time, a new approach can be noted in the actions of the country's leadership.
In order to end international isolation and improve the image of his country's Government in the international arena, the President of Myanmar has taken a number of actions that can be seen as signs of serious reforms, which has contributed to the gradual liberation of Myanmar from twenty years of being a pariah in the world community.
New Republic Guide-
The Government of the Union of Myanmar has fulfilled almost all the requirements of Western countries to lift or ease the sanctions that the country has been under throughout the entire period of the military junta's rule. First of all, the President established personal contact with the opposition by inviting Aung San Suu Kyi to Naypyidaw on 4 May as an honorary guest for a seminar on Myanmar's economic development. During a personal meeting at the presidential palace, he managed to convince the opposition leader of the sincerity of his intentions regarding the democratization of the country. As the government-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar pointed out the next day, "the conversation took place against the backdrop of a large portrait of Suu Kyi's father, the leader of the liberation struggle, national hero General Aung San*, which symbolized a common basis for cooperation in the interests of the country and the people."5
Later, the law on political parties was amended to allow the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader to participate in the parliamentary by-elections scheduled for April 1, 2012 for the 48 seats vacated by State appointments6.
Under the new government, bans on posting portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi and her articles in the press were lifted. The NLD headquarters and the house of its leader on University Avenue, where she spent 15 years under house arrest, have become a place of pilgrimage for foreign tourists who just want to see these historical sites and buy souvenirs with the symbols of the opposition. Although media censorship has not been completely lifted, journalists have been given unprecedented freedom to express their thoughts and cover events objectively. The press now publishes such materials for which, until recently, journalists could have received dozens of years in prison. Attacks on "enemy voices" - The BBC, The Voice of America, Radio Free Asia-have also stopped.
The country was allowed to visit the heads of expat news agencies-Irrawaddy (Thailand), Mizzima News (India), Democratic Voice of Burma - DVB (Norway). The materials of these agencies were an indispensable source of news about the situation in the country under the military regime. Correspondents obtained information at the risk of their lives and freedom, and many were arrested. A documentary made by DVB correspondents about the events in the country in September 2007.7 - the so-called "saffron revolution"- was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010.
As a result of three general amnesties held in May and September 2011 and in January 2012, several hundred political prisoners were released from prisons and camps, including journalists, monks who led anti-government demonstrations in September 2007, and the most prominent opposition leaders and activists who served sentences of up to 65 years, prison terms for participation in the protest movement and dissent. In January, 60 former military personnel arrested in 2004, along with former Prime Minister and military intelligence chief Khin Nyun, were also released, and he, who was serving a 44-year sentence of house arrest on corruption charges, was also released. The latter group does not belong to political prisoners, and the military faction of the parliament petitioned for their comrades.
At the end of the year, the Labor Law was passed, legalizing trade unions for the first time since the military came to power in 1962 and allowing workers to peacefully stand up for their rights. According to the new law, which came into force on March 9, 2012, workers can form trade unions in groups of at least 30 people and organize strikes, having previously announced them 14 days in advance and stipulated their duration and number of participants. Employers who obstruct the formation of trade unions and organize strikes face up to one year in prison and a fine of 100 thousand jah ($125), while workers who violate the law also face up to a year in prison and a fine of 30 thousand jah ($38).8
To demonstrate that the new leadership is meeting the demands of the population, in September it announced a five-year freeze (i.e., for the term of office of the current president) of the Myitson project, which was sharply criticized by the population and environmentalists - the construction of a dam and a complex of hydraulic structures on the Irrawaddy River worth $3.6 billion, implemented with the assistance of a Chinese Energy Investment Company (China Power Investment Corp). This complex is planned to be built in the north of the country in the Kachin State at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River and its two tributaries by 2019, as a result of which an artificial sea should be formed that exceeds the area of the state of Singapore. The dam itself, with a height of about 150 m, will be one of the largest in the world. More than 90% of the electricity that the 6,000 MW HPP will produce is destined for China.
Scientists, environmentalists and political activists opposed the project, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who in August 2011 wrote an open letter to the authorities urging them to reconsider the project. Opponents of the project fear that irreparable damage will be caused to the flora and fauna, and most importantly, the national pride and shrine - the Irrawaddy River - will be destroyed. Thousands of farmers from surrounding villages have been relocated from the site of the planned reservoir, according to the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper People's Daily, which spent $25 million on the operation.9 Statement of the President on September 30, 2011 on the decision to suspend construction due to the fact that it was being carried out-
* Aung San (1915-1947) - Burmese general, "father" of the Burmese army, politician, revolutionary, in 1941-1947.leader of the struggle for national independence from Japan and the British Empire, headed the Anti-fascist National Freedom League (ALNS). He was killed in 1947, when Suu Kyi was two years old .
the film "against the will of the people" made a great impression on the project's critics. Previously, such an argument was never taken into account by the former leaders of the country. However, it is possible that the authorities feared a surge of anti-Chinese sentiment in Myanmar and a repeat of the events of 1967, when crowds of Burmese in Rangoon destroyed homes and businesses belonging to ethnic Chinese. Beijing expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to freeze the project and even threatened legal proceedings against the Myanmar government for violating the terms of the treaty.
This move by the Myanmar President was met with great enthusiasm by all opponents of the project. The West, especially the United States, also welcomed this decision, as Myanmar's leadership has shown that it is not afraid to displease Beijing, its main ally in previous years.
Shortly after the NLD announced its readiness to re-register and participate in the upcoming by-elections, in November, at the next ASEAN summit, it was decided to grant Myanmar the right to preside over the organization in 2014. However, after an armed attack on Aung San Suu Kyi's convoy in May 2003 during her campaign tour of the country, which resulted in the death of her associates, and another arrest of the opposition leader, Myanmar's position in the international arena and in ASEAN itself deteriorated sharply. The country's leadership has been criticized by the international community for violating human rights and civil liberties. Under pressure from the United States and EU countries - partners in the dialogue with ASEAN, as well as some members of the Association - Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines - Myanmar was forced to give up the presidency to the Philippines following it. Myanmar's withdrawal from the presidency announced at the 38th Session of the Association's Foreign Ministers in July 2005. However , it was met with great relief by the ASEAN member states, and Myanmar was given to understand that it will be able to take this seat as soon as the country is ready for it.
Six years later, the situation in Myanmar has changed. With the support of ASEAN members for its 2014 chairmanship, Myanmar has finally achieved legitimacy and credibility among its partners in the organization.
Recently, the following significant and important events have taken place in Myanmar::
On November 7, 2010, the first general parliamentary elections in 20 years were held;
Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest on November 13, 2010;
On March 30, 2011, the official transfer of power to the new civilian government took place;
On May 15, 2011, the first 45 political prisoners were released;
On August 19, 2011, Aung San Suu Kyi met with the President of the country in Naypyidaw;
On October 6, 2011, the National Human Rights Commission was established;
On October 12, 2011, 207 political prisoners were released;
On October 13, 2011, a new labor law was adopted, allowing the creation of trade unions and peaceful advocacy for workers ' rights;
On November 17, 2011, Myanmar won the 2014 ASEAN Presidency.;
On December 23, 2011, the NLD was registered as a political party for the April 1, 2012 by-election.;
On January 12, 2012, for the first time in the entire period of independence, a ceasefire agreement was signed with the Karen National Union, a key ethnic rebel group that has been at war with the center for more than 60 years;
On January 13, 2012, 287 political prisoners were released, including the main dissidents-leaders of the student movement" Generation 88 "Min Ko Nain and Ko Ko Ji, as well as one of the leaders of the "saffron revolution" in 2007, Monk Gambira;
On April 1, 2012, by-elections to the Parliament were held, with the invitation of foreign observers and the press.
A VICTORY, ALBEIT SYMBOLIC
In November 2011, after the President signed a decree on amendments to the law on registration of political parties, the NLD leadership decided to re-register their party and participate in the parliamentary by-elections. Aung San Suu Kyi was granted the right to travel around the country with campaign speeches. In all the cities, the motorcade was greeted by huge masses of her supporters. Despite the complete isolation of Aung San Suu Kyi from the outside world and the desire of the ruling elite to erase her from the memory of the population over the past two decades, prohibiting any mention of her name in the press, she was not forgotten. As television footage of her meetings with voters across the country shows, she is still a symbol of the struggle for democracy and national accord and is very popular, including among the new generation that has grown up during this time.
Aung San Suu Kyi's party claimed the vacant seats in parliament, along with 17 other parties and six independent candidates. According to official data from the Central Election Commission, in the April 1 by-election, the NLD won 43 seats, or 6.4% of the seats in Parliament10. However, despite the impressive victory, the opposition will not be able to influence the decisions taken by the legislative assembly. As noted above, the cadre military faction and the ruling SPSR, in which the vast majority of former military personnel retired before the elections, together hold about 85% of seats in both chambers. Opposition and national parties collectively hold a total of 124 seats, including the Shan National Democratic Party (57), the Rakhine National Development Party (35), and the National Democratic Party (23).-
The National Democratic Force and the Democratic Party of the Mon State - 16 seats each.
The significance of holding the parliamentary by-election and Aung San Suu Kyi's participation in it was different. They were supposed to be a serious test of the possibility of holding fair elections in Myanmar and the level of popularity of the revived opposition NLD party. The NLD's participation in the April 1, 2012 by-election is the beginning of preparations for the next parliamentary elections in 2015, when the main fight may turn out between the two leading parties - the ruling SPSR and the opposition NLD. The goal of Aung San Suu Kyi's party in the by-election was to return to the political arena and awaken the political activity of the population. Like other parties that participated in the election, the NLD leader recorded a 15-minute video that was shown twice on state TV, and although the segment where she criticized the military regime that "oppressed the people"was cut, Aung San Suu Kyi was given the opportunity to address the people directly on television for the first time. 11
10 days before the vote, Myanmar's authorities showed another positive shift towards openness and democracy. For the first time in the history of the election campaign, they invited foreign observers from the ASEAN countries, the United States and the EU to participate in the elections. Foreigners were not allowed to participate in the 1990 and 2010 parliamentary elections, nor in the 2008 constitutional referendum.
It is possible that the government is even more interested in Aung San Suu Kyi's presence in Parliament than her supporters, as she will serve as a necessary symbol of democratization in the country. The country's leadership needs an opposition in parliament and a strong NLD to continue reforms and democratization. Former Indian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to Myanmar S. Saran believes that "Aung San Suu Kyi is the regime's passport to legitimization in the international community"12. At the same time, supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi fear that the presence of their leader in parliament will create the impression that all the problems in the country are solved, and the authorities are cynically using it for their own purposes. As the oldest member of the NLD leadership, Win Tin, stated,"we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are still in the tunnel, and we do not know if we will get out of the darkness, and if so, when." 13
The US and EU, however, viewed fair and free parliamentary by-elections as a crucial condition for starting the lifting or easing of economic and political sanctions.
RELATIONS WITH THE WEST ARE IMPROVING
At the end of 2011, there was a decisive shift in relations between the Myanmar leadership and the West. The cornerstone of the new U.S. policy toward Myanmar is its support for Aung San Suu Kyi, who represents her country's struggle for political reform. A historic milestone can be considered a telephone conversation between US President Barack Obama and the leader of the opposition. He called her from a plane en route from Australia to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the 6th East Asia Summit. During the 20-minute conversation, the opposition leader confirmed that she supports the development of relations between the United States and Myanmar. At the same time, Barack Obama decided to send the US Secretary of State there on a visit.14
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Myanmar took place in early December 2011, the first visit by a U.S. diplomatic chief since 195515. At a meeting with President Thein Sein, she said that "the United States welcomes the reform steps of the new civilian government" and "she came to understand whether it is time to start a new chapter in bilateral relations." Noting that "the United States is ready to respond to Myanmar's reforms with some measures to ease its international isolation and improve the living conditions of the population," the Secretary of State said that the Obama administration will support reforms in the areas of health, finance and fight
Clinton also said that Washington will support increasing international aid to Myanmar.
The Secretary of State also held two friendly meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon. At the end of session X. Clinton announced that the United States would be willing to discuss raising diplomatic relations between the two countries to the level of 16 ambassadors. The fact is that shortly after the military regime of Myanmar did not recognize the results of the democratic parliamentary elections in 1990, the US Ambassador left Myanmar due to the end of his term of office, a new ambassador was not appointed, and since then, for more than 20 years, the US diplomatic mission in Myanmar has been headed by a charge d'affaires. Shortly after the by-election, which was described as "free and fair" in the West, the Obama administration considered appointing Derek Mitchell, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Affairs in the Asia - Pacific Region, as Ambassador to Myanmar, and since August 2011 as the US Special Envoy to Myanmar.17
British Foreign Secretary William Hague was next to arrive in the former British colony for the first time in 56 years. During his two-day visit, he met with President Thein Sein, Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament Shwe Man, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lewin, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. At a press conference in Yangon, Mr Hague stressed that the UK is ready to develop new relations with Myanmar based on friendship and partnership if the new government continues its reforms. He called on Myanmar to release all political prisoners as soon as possible, hold free and fair parliamentary by-elections, end clashes in border areas through dialogue, and achieve national reconciliation. He went on to say that the upcoming European Union meeting in April 2012 will discuss easing or lifting sanctions against Myanmar. He also noted that over the next four years, the UK will provide 185 million pounds ($286 million) in aid to Myanmar for health and education18. Yesterday, the European Union decided to open an office in Yangon to coordinate humanitarian assistance programs and political dialogue.
Another high-ranking foreign guest was French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who paid a two-day official visit to Myanmar on January 15, 2012. On behalf of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, he presented Aung San Suu Kyi with the Legion of Honor. In Yangon, A. Juppe also met with the leader of the student movement "Generation 88", a well-known dissident Min Ko Naina, who was released the day before. Then the minister went to Naypyidaw, where he met with President Thein Sein, Foreign Minister and speakers of both houses of Parliament. A. Juppe announced France's intention to triple the amount of development assistance to the country to 3 million euros per year and increase its participation in education, health and agriculture projects. "We will also consider the possibility of easing sanctions against Burma as further democratization takes place in the country," the Minister said.
Earlier, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan also visited Myanmar. During the Christmas holidays, George Soros visited Myanmar with his family. Since 1994, his Open Society Foundation has been funding a number of charitable projects in Myanmar aimed at helping ethnic minorities, women, and young people. George Soros met with the country's President and Aung San Suu Kyi. It plans to open a permanent representative office of its foundation in Myanmar 20.
The number of visits of foreign ministers to Myanmar increased on March 8 with the first visit of Canadian Foreign Minister John Beard in the country's history. According to the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star, the Canadian minister was "late", he arrived only three months after X. Clinton and later other distinguished guests. He conveyed to Aung San Suu Kyi the decision of the Parliament to award her the title of Honorary citizen of Canada. Before her, only four people were awarded this title - Raoul Wallenberg, who died in Stalin's camps, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and the Ismaili spiritual leader Aga Khan. 21 According to Canadian TV, the visit is a sign that the former "repressive military junta can normalize relations with democratic countries." 22 Canada was one of the first countries to impose tough sanctions on Burma in 1988 after the army's crackdown on anti-government protests. It imposed an embargo on the supply of military products, a ban on trade relations and the denial of entry visas to officials from the military leadership.
The first Western leader to visit Myanmar was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who visited for one day on April 13 during his Asian trip. It was also the first visit by a British Prime Minister to the former colony since its independence in 1948. He held meetings with the country's President and leader of the Democratic forces, Aung San Suu Kyi. During a joint press conference held at Aung San Suu Kyi's home, David Cameron called her "a source of inspiration for people around the world" and said that some sanctions against Myanmar can already be suspended, although there is no question of a complete lifting yet. The leader of the opposition agrees with him. "This will clearly show opponents of change that if they try to obstruct reformers, sanctions can be restored," she said.
The results of the first year of Thein Sein's presidency demonstrated the country's consistent progress on the path of reforms in all areas-in domestic and foreign policy, in the socio-economic sphere-
re and on the issue of national reconciliation. The fact that the country was visited for the first time in many decades by the heads of diplomatic departments of the countries that took the toughest position in relation to the former military regime, suggests that they appreciated the president's initiatives. As a result of the reforms implemented over the past 12 months, Myanmar has gone from an international pariah to a" friend " of the United States. This was stated by US Special Envoy to Myanmar Derek Mitchell on March 13, 2012, during a meeting with Speaker of the Lower house of Parliament Thur Shwe Man in Naypyidaw23.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, over the past few years, Russia has actively supported the program of reforms implemented in Myanmar by its previous leadership and continued today by the new civil administration headed by President Thein Sein. It would be in the best interests of Myanmar's continued growth and the consolidation of peace and stability in Southeast Asia if the country were to become more involved in broad international cooperation.24
WILL CHINA'S INFLUENCE CONTINUE IN MYANMAR?
Myanmar's freeze on construction of the Chinese-funded Myitseong hydropower project has sparked rumors of a cooling-off and even a rift in relations between the two countries. At the same time, it has revived the debate over Myanmar's degree of dependence on China. China's large-scale expansion into Myanmar has been supported by international sanctions for two decades. Contrary to what many foreign observers claim, Western sanctions have neither economically nor strategically pushed Myanmar "into the arms of the Chinese," but Western policies have turned Myanmar into an international exile and restricted its access to UN funding and international credit institutions, thus making it definitely easier for China to implement its intentions towards Myanmar. China, which has long sought to provide trade access for the inland provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan to the Indian Ocean via Myanmar, has taken full advantage of the situation. Myanmar's dependence on its giant neighbor has indeed become enormous. China is its largest investor (with a total investment of $15.8 billion), its largest arms supplier, and its third-largest trading partner. China is engaged in implementing key infrastructure projects in the country, developing its economy, in particular, the energy sector. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China also provides political support to Myanmar, in January 2007. He, along with Russia, used his veto power against a U.S.-sponsored resolution criticizing the Burmese junta's human rights record.
In gratitude for the support, two months later a project was approved for the construction of gas and oil pipelines connecting Myanmar's Chaukpyu on the coast of the Bay of Bengal with China's Kunming. The pipeline will supply natural gas from a new field on the Myanmar shelf. The pipeline will be used as a transit route and will allow tankers from the Middle East and Africa to send oil to China, bypassing the Strait of Malacca. The future energy security of the PRC depends to some extent on the implementation of the gas and oil pipeline project from Myanmar to China. It is obvious that the Myanmar leadership will not escalate relations with China by revising this agreement.
At the same time, many nationalist officers and "new" Burmese entrepreneurs are unhappy with their country's burdensome dependence on China, as well as the uncontrolled immigration of Chinese citizens to northern Myanmar. But Myanmar will be able to free itself from the influence of China and not finally turn into a protectorate of its giant neighbor only with the support of other strong states.
1 The Straits Times, Singapore, 31.01.2011.
2 The President and two Vice-Presidents, according to the new Constitution of 2008, were elected at the first session of the new Parliament, which opened on 31 January 2011, from three candidates nominated by the two Chambers and separately by representatives of the armed forces in the Legislative Assembly.
3 Profile: Burmese Leader Thein Sein // BBC News. 4.02.2011; Burma's President-Elect: A Clever Puppet? // The Irrawaddy (Thailand), 25.02.2011.
4 See: Simonia A. Naypyidaw-the new Capital of Myanmar / / Asia and Africa Today, N 10 (603), 2007, pp. 60-62.
5 The New Light of Myanmar, Yangon, 20.08.2011.
6 Under the 2008 Constitution, parliamentarians appointed to public office must vacate their seats in the Legislative Assembly.
7 See: Simonia A. Myanmar: Hot September 2007 / / Asia and Africa Today, No. 1 (606), 2008, pp. 2-9.
8 The New Light of Myanmar, 10.03.2012.
9 China paper defends Myanmar investment // Reuters, 07.10.2011.
10 Mizzima News, 04.04.2012.
11 Reuters, 12.03.2012.
Burke J. 12 Is democracy finally coming to Burma? // The Guardian, L., 05.01.2012.
Burke J. 13 Aung San Suu Kyi can rule Burma one day, says presidential aide // The Guardian, L., 05.01.2012.
14 The White House: Briefing on Burma by Senior Administration Officials. Office of the Press Secretary: Grand Hyatt, Bali, Indonesia, 18.11.2011.
15 The previous visit of US Secretary of State John Dulles to Burma was in 1955.
16 Clinton in Burma (Editorial) // The Voice of America. 07.12.2011; A Milestone for Myanmar / The Japan Times. 07.12.2011.
17 Financial Times, 06.04.2012.
18 The Telegraph. 06.01.2012 - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/8995843; Жэньминь жибао, 08.01.2012.
Boehler P. 19 France to Triple its Aid to Burma // The Irrawaddy, 17.01.2012.
20 Agence France Presse. 05.01.2012, 04.04.2012.
Wigdor Mitchel. 21 Canada is Latecomer in Changing Burma // The Toronto Star, 13.03.2012.
22 CTV NEWS/Canada/Staff. 20120305.
23 United States Considers Myanmar "a Friend", Says Government Official // Myanmar Times, 19.03.2012.
24 Statement by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry A. Lukashevich. Myanmar is a long-standing partner of Russia - http://ria.ru/interview/20120224/573607461.html
Permanent link to this publication:
LKazakhstan LWorld Y G