With just days to go before Joe Biden takes charge as U.S. President, China is on a diplomatic overreach. Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a six-day visit to four ASEAN countries earlier this week. His first stop was Myanmar, which is a neighbour to both China and India. His visit comes less than three months after India’s foreign secretary and army chief’s joint trip. In Myanmar, Wang Yi made it a point to mention he was the first foreign minister to come calling after the Myanmar elections, which shows the importance China attaches to bilateral ties.
High-level visits from India and China shows Myanmar is keen on balancing its ties with its two big neighbours, says Moe Thuzar, Coordinator, Myanmar Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. With China keen that projects under the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor be expedited, Thuzar told StratNews Global that the situation emerging out of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic will play a key role on how big infrastructure projects China and Myanmar negotiated will proceed.
One feature emerging quite strongly in Myanmar is increasing attention paid to having more transparent and inclusive consultations to have more socially responsible investment, she added. Listen in for more.
Podcast producer: Manas R. Tarai