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Burma's economic relations with China

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Chinese Government Guidelines for Overseas Investment
Date of publication: 18 April 2013
Description/subject: "On February 28th, 2013, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environmental Protection released its “Guidelines for Environmental Protection in Foreign Investment and Cooperation” (“Guidelines”), which are based on recommendations by the Chinese NGO, Global Environmental Institute (GEI). These Guidelines provide civil society groups with a new source of leverage when it comes to holding Chinese companies responsible for their environmental and social impacts overseas... View the “Guidelines for Environmental Protection in Foreign Investment and Cooperation” in Burmese | Chinese | English | Spanish... Read an analysis of the Guidelines by Grace Mang, China Program Director... Read a comparison of the Guidelines with international standards by Policy Director Peter Bosshard (also available in Chinese on chinadialogue)... Read interviews with Mr. Ren Peng of Global Environmental Institute and Dr. Hu Tao of the World Resources Institute... The Guidelines cover key issues, including legal compliance, environmental policies, environmental management plans, mitigation measures, disaster management plans, community relations, waste management, and international standards... While the Guidelines are non-binding, they are still government policy and can thus be a useful tool for civil society seeking to hold Chinese companies to account. Even though it is unlikely that the Guidelines will translate into immediate changes at project sites, the Guidelines create a new window for civil society to engage with Chinese companies abroad, obtain project information and documents, and hold them to a higher level of responsibility around mitigating damages."
Language: English (links to docs in Burmese, Chinese, Spanish)
Source/publisher: International Riivers
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/policyrelease/bbb/201303/20130300043226.shtml (Guidelines in English)
http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/guidelines_on_environmental_policies_of_chinese_overseas_investment.feb2013_burmese_0.pdf (Guidelines in Burmese)
http://hzs.mofcom.gov.cn/article/zcfb/b/201302/20130200039909.shtml (Guidelines in Chinese)
http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/guidelines_on_environmental_policies_of_chinese_overseas_investment.feb2013_esp_0.pdf (Guidelines in Spanish)
http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/262/beijing-sends-a-signal-to-chinese-overseas-dam-builders (Analysis - English)
http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/227/holding-chinese-investors-to-account
http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/interview-with-ren-peng-on-china-s-overseas-investment-guidelines-7943
Date of entry/update: 24 April 2013


Title: Company responses (and non-responses) to "The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy" published by EarthRights International in March 2011
Description/subject: "On 29 March 2011 EarthRights International released a report, entittled "The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy" [PDF], which "link[ed] major Chinese and Korean companies to widespread land confiscation, and cases of forced labor, arbitrary arrest, detention and torture, and violations of indigenous rights connected to the Shwe natural gas project and oil transport projects in Burma." The companies named in the report are: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Daewoo International [part of POSCO], GAIL (India), Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS), ONGC Videsh, and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2011


Title: Dams and other hydropower projects
Description/subject: Link to the dams material in the Water section
Language: English
Source/publisher: OnlineBurma/Myanmar Library
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 January 2013


Individual Documents

Title: Kyaukphyu SEZ ‘Key’ to China Business Corridor, But Doubts Remain
Date of publication: 19 September 2014
Description/subject: "Kyaukphyu port on Burma’s western coast could play a key role in a Beijing-led economic corridor plan linking neighbors India, Bangladesh and China. But economists and foreign policy analysts are divided over whether the Naypyidaw government’s ambitions for a special economic zone (SEZ) around Kyaukphyu in Arakan State are viable. The so-called BCIM Corridor, for Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar, was a key issue of discussion by China’s President Xi Jinping this week on a rare visit to India by a Chinese head of state. A pivotal spot along the corridor would be Mandalay, linking China’s Yunnan province capital Kunming with northeast India and on into Bangladesh. But observers see the BCIM proposal as also instrumental in giving China access to the Indian Ocean. The BCIM is a grand plan for Beijing to “gain access to multiple coastal zones that are considered crucial for the next-generation Chinese economy,” commented India’s Telegraph business newspaper. Within Burma this points to Kyaukphyu for the Chinese, who have already built a crude oil transshipment terminal there as well as controversial oil and gas pipelines that start at Kyaukphyu and run the length of Burma into Yunnan... However, Chinese plans for a railway linking Yunnan with Kyaukphyu have soured amid a cooling relationship between Naypyidaw and Beijing..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2014


Title: China, Myanmar: stop that train
Date of publication: 14 August 2014
Description/subject: "Since reports about the cancellation of a proposed US$20 billion railway line connecting China's southern Yunnan province with Myanmar's Rakhine western coast emerged in late July, conflicting accounts about the 1,200 kilometer project's status have raised new questions about the neighboring countries' commercial relations. The controversy erupted with a local news report quoting Myint Wai, director of Myanmar's Ministry of Rail Transportation, saying that the project had been "cancelled" after over three years of inaction on a 2011 agreement. A DPA report furthered the story by quoting an anonymous Myanmar government official saying the Kyaukpyu-Kunming railway was popularly perceived as having "more disadvantages than advantages" and was cancelled in line with the "people's desires". Yang Houlan, China's Ambassador to Myanmar, contradicted that report, saying China had not abandoned the project. The state mouthpiece China Daily underscored that official line, reporting that an "unidentified Myanmar economic official" said that the project only needs "continued coordination". The China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), the original Chinese investor in the project, meanwhile has been reluctant to respond to the conflicting reports... the railway is of strategic importance to China: it had been regarded as a key component of China's Trans-Asia railway network and a critical element for developing a southwest strategic corridor to the Indian Ocean, a route for crucial imports that bypassed the congested Malacca Strait and hotly contested South China Sea... cancellation of the multi-billion dollar railway project would indicate a further deterioration of Sino-Myanmar ties, despite Beijing's sustained bid to portray the relationship as strong and healthy..."
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2014


Title: China, Myanmar face Myitsone dam truths
Date of publication: 19 February 2014
Description/subject: "Debate between China and Myanmar over the suspended US$3.6 billion Myitsone hydro-electric dam project recently reached a new pitch. A war of words between their governments erupted after China Power Investment launched a renewed public relations campaign to promote the mega-project. This included a corporate social responsibility report released in December beautifying the dam and its supposed wondrous contributions to local livelihoods and development..."
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


Title: China, the United States and the Kachin Conflict
Date of publication: January 2014
Description/subject: KEY FINDINGS: 1. The prolonged Kachin conflict is a major obstacle to Myanmar’s national reconciliation and a challenging test for the democratization process. 2. The KIO and the Myanmar government differ on the priority between the cease-fire and the political dialogue. Without addressing this difference, the nationwide peace accord proposed by the government will most likely lack the KIO’s participation. 3. The disagreements on terms have hindered a formal cease-fire. In addition, the existing economic interest groups profiting from the armed conflict have further undermined the prospect for progress. 4. China intervened in the Kachin negotiations in 2013 to protect its national interests. A crucial motivation was a concern about the “internationalization” of the Kachin issue and the potential US role along the Chinese border. 5. Despite domestic and external pressure, the US has refrained from playing a formal and active role in the Kachin conflict. The need to balance the impact on domestic politics in Myanmar and US-China relations are factors in US policy. 6.A The US has attempted to discuss various options of cooperation with China on the Kachin issue. So far, such attempts have not been accepted by China.
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Stimson Center (Great Powers and the Changing Myanmar - Issue Brief No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/Myanmar_Issue_Brief_No_2_Jan_2014_WEB.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2014


Title: Chinese Investment in Myanmar: What Lies Ahead?
Date of publication: 16 September 2013
Description/subject: This issue brief examines reasons for the sharp drop in Chinese investment in Myanmar since 2011, the impact of the reduced investment, and the prospects for future Chinese investment in the nation, formerly known as Burma..... Key Findings: 1. After a reformist government replaced a military junta in Myanmar in 2011, Chinese investment in the nation plummeted – approximately $12 billion from 2008 to 2011 to just $407 million in the 2012/2013 fiscal year.... 2. The three largest Chinese investments in Myanmar – the Myitsone Dam, the Letpadaung Copper Mine and the Sino-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines – have sparked local opposition and criticism in Myanmar to varying degrees, creating problems and uncertainties for Chinese investors... 3. China perceives that Myanmar is now a more unfriendly and risky place to invest and is displeased that the Myanmar government is not doing more to protect Chinese interest in the country.... 4. In a move to gain greater acceptance of its investments in Myanmar, China is improving its profit-sharing, environmental and corporate social responsibility programs in the nation... 5. China has learned important lessons about investing in other countries from the problems it has encountered in Myanmar... 6. Reduced Chinese investment in Myanmar could hurt Myanmar’s economy in unexpected ways. Greater foreign investment is needed in Myanmar, particularly in the nation’s underdeveloped and inadequate infrastructure that is acting as an obstacle to industrialization... 7. Chinese investors and the government of Myanmar should work together to reduce distrust and hostility on both sides and increase responsible and mutually beneficial investment in Myanmar to benefit both nations.
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Stimson Center (Great Powers and the Changing Myanmar - Issue Brief No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (386K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/2013-09-Stimson-Yun.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2013


Title: India-China make a Myanmar tryst
Date of publication: 13 August 2013
Description/subject: "As India and China have emerged as major powers in Asia, their interests and concerns have transcended their geographical boundaries. There is particularly the case in Myanmar, where those interests have converged. This is largely due to the fact that Myanmar shares common borders with both the countries. Myanmar shares a 2,185-kilometer border with China, and 1,643-kilometer border with India. It has long been argued that Myanmar has always been a strategic concern for governing the dynamics of India-China relations. Myanmar's strategic location is considered as an important asset for India and China that offers tremendous opportunities for the countries of the region. Therefore, recent developments in Myanmar are a matter of concern for both India and China..."
Author/creator: Sonu Trivedi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: China Moves to Dam the Nu, Ignoring Seismic, Ecological, and Social Risks
Date of publication: 25 January 2013
Description/subject: "In a blueprint for the energy sector in 2011-15, China’s State Council on Wednesday lifted an eightyear ban on five megadams for the largely free-flowing Nu River [Salween], ignoring concerns about geologic risks, global biodiversity, resettlement, and impacts on downstream communities. “China’s plans to go ahead with dams on the Nu, as well as similar projects on the Upper Yangtze and Mekong, shows a complete disregard of well-documented seismic hazards, ecological and social risks” stated Katy Yan, China Program Coordinator for the environmental organization International Rivers. Also included in the plan is the controversial Xiaonanhai Dam on the Upper Yangtze. A total of 13 dams was first proposed for the Nu River (also known as the Salween) in 2003, but Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao suspended these plans in 2004 in a stunning decision. Since then, Huadian Corporation has continued to explore five dams – Songta (4200 MW), Maji (4200 MW), Yabiluo (1800 MW), Liuku (180 MW), and Saige (1000 MW) – and has successfully lobbied the State Council to include them in the 12th Five Year Plan..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rivers
Format/size: pdf (71K)
Date of entry/update: 26 January 2013


Title: Danger Zone - Giant Chinese industrial zone threatens Burma’s Arakan coast (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 17 December 2012
Description/subject: "China’s plans to build a giant industrial zone at the terminal of its Shwe gas and oil pipelines on the Arakan coast will damage the livelihoods of tens of thousands of islanders and spell doom for Burma’s second largest mangrove forest. The 120 sq km “Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) will be managed by Chinese state-owned CITIC group on Ramree island, where China is constructing a deep sea port for ships bringing oil from the Middle East and Africa. An 800-km railway is also being built from Kyauk Phyu to Yunnan, under a 50 year BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement, forging a Chinese-managed trade corridor from the Indian Ocean across Burma. Investment in the railway and SEZ, China’s largest in Southeast Asia, is estimated at US $109 billion over 35 years. Construction of the pipelines and deep-sea port has already caused large-scale land confiscation. Now 40 villages could face direct eviction from the SEZ, while many more fear the impacts of toxic waste and pollution from planned petrochemical and metal industries. No information has been provided to local residents about the projects. It is urgently needed to have stringent regulations in place to protect the people and environment before projects such as these are implemented in Burma."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Arakan Oil Watch
Format/size: pdf (810K-English; 1MB-Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Danger-Zone-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 December 2012


Title: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION - China’s trade in illegal timber (text, video and Burmese press release)
Date of publication: 29 November 2012
Description/subject: This report covers several countries in Asia and Africa....."Myanmar contains some of the most significant natural forests left in the Asia Pacific region, host to an array of biodiversity and vital to the livelihoods of local communities. Forests are estimated to cover 48 per cent of the country’s land. Yet other recent estimates put forest cover at just 24 per cent. These vital forests are disappearing rapidly. Myanmar has one of the worst rates of deforestation on the planet, with 18 per cent of its forests lost between 1990 and 2005. Myanmar’s forest sector is rife with corruption and illegality, leading to over-harvesting and smuggling. Natural teak from Myanmar is especially sought after on the international market for its unique characteristics and availability. Since the late 1990s, neighbouring China has imported large volumes of timber from Myanmar, the bulk of which have been logged and traded illegally. In 1997, China imported 300,000 cubic metres of timber from Myanmar; by 2005 this had risen to 1.6 million cubic metres....In April 2012, EIA investigators travelled to the southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Yunnan to examine current dynamics of the illicit cross-border trade in logs from Myanmar, especially Kachin State. The investigation involved monitoring crossing points on the Yunnan-Kachin border, surveying wholesale timber markets to assess the origin of wood supplies, and undercover meetings with Chinese firms trading and processing timber from Myanmar. The investigation revealed continuing transport of logs across the border, despite the 2006 agreements between the two countries to halt such trade. Chinese traders confirmed that as long as taxes are paid at the point of import, logs are allowed in despite a commitment from the Yunnan provincial government to allow in only timber accompanied by documents from the Myanmar authorities attesting to its legal origin. As the authorities dictate that all wood exports must be handled by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise and shipped via Rangoon, logs moving across the land border to Yunnan cannot possibly be legal. Field visits uncovered movement of temperate hardwood timber species from the mountains of Kachin State into central Yunnan via several crossing points, with trade in teak and rosewood centred around the border town of Ruili further south. The contrast in the condition of the forests along the border was striking; while forests in the mountainous region on the Chinese side of the border are relatively intact, with large areas protected in the Gaoligong Nature Reserve, across the border in Kachin the devastation wreaked by logging is clearly visible. Chinese wood traders confirmed that supplies were coming from further inside Kachin, as timber within a hundred kilometres of the border has been logged out, and told how deals are done with insurgent groups to buy up entire mountains for logging. One local community elder in Kachin interviewed by EIA summed up the situation: “Myanmar is China’s supermarket and Kachin State is their 7-11.”..."
Language: English; (Burmese press release)
Source/publisher: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Format/size: pdf (1.42MB), 142K-Burmese press release; Adobe Flash (- 16 minutes, video)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/EIA-Appetite_for_Destruction-PR-bu.pdf (Press release, Burmese)
http://vimeo.com/54229395 (video)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/EIA-Appetite_for_Destruction.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2012


Title: Pipeline Nightmare (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 07 November 2012
Description/subject: "Shwe Pipeline Brings Land Confiscation, Militarization and Human Rights Violations to the Ta’ang People. The Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) released a report today called “Pipeline Nightmare” that illustrates how the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, which will transport oil and gas across Burma to China, has resulted in the confiscation of people’s lands, forced labor, and increased military presence along the pipeline, affecting thousands of people. Moreover, the report documents cases in 6 target cities and 51 villages of human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army, police and people’s militia, who take responsibility for security of the pipeline. The government has deployed additional soldiers and extended 26 military camps in order to increase pressure on the ethnic armed groups and to provide security for the pipeline project and its Chinese workers. Along the pipeline, there is fighting on a daily basis between the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army, Shan State Army – North and Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Namtu, Mantong and Namkham, where there are over one thousand Ta’ang (Palaung) refugees. “Even though the international community believes that the government has implemented political reforms, it doesn’t mean those reforms have reached ethnic areas, especially not where there is increased militarization along the Shwe Pipeline, increased fighting between the Burmese Army and ethnic armed groups, and negative consequences for the people living in these areas,” said Mai Amm Ngeal, a member of TSYO. The China National Petroleum Corporation and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise have signed agreements for the Shwe Pipeline, however the companies have not conducted any Environmental Impact Assessments or Social Impact Assessments. While the people living along the pipeline bear the brunt of the effects, the government will earn an estimated USD$29 billion over the next 30 years. “The government and companies involved must be held accountable for the project and its effects on the local people, such as increasing military presence and Chinese workers along the pipeline, both of which cause insecurity for the local communities and especially women. The project has no benefit for the public, so it must be postponed,” said Lway Phoo Reang, Joint Secretary (1) of TSYO. TSYO urges the government to postpone the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, to withdraw the military from Shan State, reach a ceasefire with all ethnic armed groups in the state, and address the root causes of the armed conflict by engaging in political dialogue."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO)
Format/size: pdf (English, 2MB-OBL version; 6.77-original; 1.45-Burmese-OBL version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Pipeline%20Nightmare%20report%20in%20English%20version%20(Final).pdf (original)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Pipeline_Nightmare-bu-op--red.pdf (full report in Burmese)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Immediate%20Release%207%20November%202012-in%20Burmese%20languages.pdf (Summary in Burmese)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/For%20Immediate%20Release%207%20November%202012_Thai%20languages.pdf (Summary in Thai)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/2012-11%20Shwe%20Pipeline%20impact%20to%20the%20Ta_ang%20People%20-%20Chinese%20languages.pdf (Summary in Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012


Title: Blood and Gold: Inside Burma's Hidden War (video)
Date of publication: 04 October 2012
Description/subject: Deep in the wilds of northern Myanmar's Kachin state a brutal civil war has intensified over the past year between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). People & Power sent filmmakers Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza to Myanmar (formerly Burma) to investigate why the conflict rages on, despite the political reforms in the south that have impressed Western governments and investors now lining up to stake their claim in the resource-rich Asian nation.
Author/creator: Jason Motlagh and Steve Sapienza
Language: English, Burmese, Kachin, (English subtitles
Source/publisher: People & Power (Al Jazeera)
Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes), html
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2012


Title: China’s Policy toward Myanmar: Challenges and Prospects
Date of publication: October 2012
Description/subject: PDFpdf(672KB) October, 2012 Ever since the military regime assumed power in Myanmar, during which time European Union (EU) and the United States began imposing sanctions on the country, Myanmar’s economic and political dependence on China—her guardian in the international society—began increasing. Myanmar had become more dependent on China than ever before. However, in March 2011, the transition from military rule to civilian rule was realized for the first time in 23 years when Thein Sein’s administration was born, and Myanmar seeks to adjust its relations with China. Now, the relationship between China and Myanmar is at a crossroads. In this paper, we would like to review the history of the relationship between China and Myanmar and the former’s strategic interests in and policy toward the latter; we will then consider the future prospects of the China-Myanmar relationship in the advent of the age of democratization in Myanmar.
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Column
Format/size: pdf (672K)
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2012


Title: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Myanmar: Remarkable Trends and Multilayered Motivations
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "Following the national responsibility theory in the school of international society which argues that national interest drives a state’s foreign policy, this thesis first attempts to deconstruct China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Myanmar since 2004 by picking apart and manipulating financial data in order to determine the resulting trends and developments. It then analyzes how Myanmar’s abundant natural resources could help alleviate China’s rising energy demands and how Chinese FDI can enhance China’s political security, reduce energy costs, diversify its imports, and mitigate mineral shortages. The United States’ marked presence in the region due to a transformation in foreign policy in the Obama administration, as well as the 2011 dissolution of military law in Myanmar, means that the motivation for Chinese FDI no longer solely revolves around the acquisition of natural resources and the previous lack of international competitors in the country. Nevertheless, I argue that China’s national economic interest will continue to serve as the primary incentive to invest billions of dollars into Myanmar, though political interest is beginning to factor more into China’s motivations."...Keywords: China, Myanmar, foreign direct investment, natural resources, national interest
Author/creator: Travis Mitchell
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lund University, Graduate School, Department of Political Science
Format/size: pdf (1.17MB)
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2012


Title: Realpolitik and the Myanmar Spring Wondering why Hillary Clinton is in Myanmar right now? Hint: it's all about China.
Date of publication: 30 November 2011
Description/subject: "... The two old adversaries, Myanmar and the United States, may have ended up on the same side of the fence in the struggle for power and influence in Southeast Asia. Frictions, and perhaps even hostility, can certainly be expected in future relations between China and Myanmar. And Myanmar will no longer be seen by the United States and elsewhere in the West as a pariah state that has to be condemned and isolated. Whatever happens, don't expect relations to be without some unease. Decades of confrontation and mutual suspicion still exist. And a powerful strain in Washington to stand firm on human rights and democracy will complicate matters for Myanmar's rulers -- who are still uncomfortable and unwilling to relinquish total control. And last of all, there's China. Myanmar may be pleased that the reliance on a dominant northern neighbor might be lessened shortly, but with so many decades of ties and real, on-the-ground projects underway, the relationship with Beijing isn't nearly dead yet."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 October 2012


Title: New balance in China, Myanmar ties
Date of publication: 13 October 2011
Description/subject: "Myanmar President Thein Sein's decision to suspend construction of the China-backed Myitsone dam project has surprised many observers and raised questions about the state of the two countries' bilateral ties. Civil society groups and other observers have celebrated the decision as a people power success under a new democratic regime and perhaps Myanmar's first overt rebuff of China's economic dominance. Different analyses have emerged as to why Myanmar has turned its back on its powerful and wealthier northern neighbor. Many believe that Thein Sein's government responded to public opposition to the US$3.6 billion project, which threatened environmental degradation and the livelihoods of local communities in the area. Some think Naypyidaw is catering to the West to show it is genuinely different from the outgoing military junta and deserves a more positive and welcoming treatment. Others have argued that the decision was the result of an internal power struggle among different factions inside the government. However, none seems to be asking the critical question: What happens next?..."
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2013


Title: Sold Out - Launch of China pipeline project unleashes abuse across Burma
Date of publication: 07 September 2011
Description/subject: "Construction of various project components to extract, process, and export the Shwe gas - as well as oil trans-shipments from Africa and the Middle East - is now well underway. Local peoples are losing their land and fishing grounds without finding new job opportunities. Workers that have found lowpaying temporary jobs are exploited and fired for demanding basic rights. Women face unequal wages, discrimination in the compensation process, and vulnerabilities in the growing sex industry around the project. Resentment against the so-called Shwe Gas Project is growing and communities are beginning to stand up against abuses and exploitation. Despite threats and risk of arrest, farmers and local residents are sending complaints to local authorities. Laborers are striking for better pay and working conditions and women running households are demanding electricity. Burma’s military government is exporting massive world-class natural gas reserves found off the country’s western coast, sacrificing the country’s future economic security and dashing chances of electrification and job creation. The “Shwe” offshore fields will produce trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that could be used to spur economic and social development in one of the world’s least developed nations. Instead it will be piped across the country to China, fuelling abuses and conflict along its path. Meanwhile active fighting has broken out between armed resistance groups and government troops in the area of the pipeline corridor in northern Burma. The Korean, Chinese and Indian companies involved in this project are taking tremendous risks with their reputations and investments. Social tensions, armed conflict, human rights abuses, and lack of project standards have raised concerns in investor circles and caused at least one pension fund to divest from the Korean fi rm Daewoo International, the main developer of the gas fields. Genuine development can only be achieved when community rights and the environment are protected, affected peoples share in benefits, and transparency and accountability mechanisms are in place. The Shwe Gas and China-Burma Pipelines projects must be suspended and all financing frozen or divested until such conditions exist..."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Shwe Gas Movement
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB - English; 4.2MB - Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/SoldOut(bu)-red.pdf
http://www.shwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/SoldOut-Web-Verstoin.pdf
http://www.shwe.org/campaign-update/sold-out-new-report/
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2011


Title: The Kachin Conflict: Are Chinese Dams to Blame?
Date of publication: 08 July 2011
Description/subject: "More than 10 days have passed since the breakout of armed conflict between the Burmese military (tatmadaw) and the Kachin rebel group – the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Many believe the fighting directly resulted from their struggle over the area where the Dapein dam is built, and blame the Chinese project for triggering the fight. Some speculate that Beijing’s pressure pushed Naypyidaw to use force against the KIA. This analysis is oversimplified, ignores the long standing hostility and complicated relations between Naypyidaw and the KIA, and will mislead key parties as they work toward a solution to the current quagmire..."
Author/creator: Yun Sun
Language: English
Source/publisher: Pacific Forum CSIS (PACNET No. 32)
Format/size: pdf (69K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/Chinese_dams-Kachin_conflict-Yun_Sun.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2013


Title: The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy
Date of publication: 29 March 2011
Description/subject: "...This briefer focuses on the impacts of two of Burma’s largest energy projects, led by Chinese, South Korean, and Indian multinational corporations in partnership with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Burmese companies, and Burmese state security forces. The projects are the Shwe Natural Gas Project and the Burma-China oil transport project, collectively referred to here as the “Burma-China pipelines.” The pipelines will transport gas from Burma and oil from the Middle East and Africa across Burma to China. The massive pipelines will pass through two states, Arakan (Rakhine) and Shan, and two divisions in Burma, Magway and Mandalay, over dense mountain ranges and arid plains, rivers, jungle, and villages and towns populated by ethnic Burmans and several ethnic nationalities. The pipelines are currently under construction and will feed industry and consumers primarily in Yunnan and other western provinces in China, while producing multi-billion dollar revenues for the Burmese regime. This briefer provides original research documenting adverse human rights impacts of the pipelines, drawing on investigations inside Burma and leaked documents obtained by EarthRights and its partners. EarthRights has found extensive land confiscation related to the projects, and a pervasive lack of meaningful consultation and consent among affected communities, along with cases of forced labor and other serious human rights abuses in violation of international and national law. EarthRights has uncovered evidence to support claims of corporate complicity in those abuses. In addition, companies involved have breached key international standards and research shows they have failed to gain a social license to operate in the country. New evidence suggests communities in the project area are overwhelmingly opposed to the pipeline projects. While EarthRights has not found evidence directly linking the projects to armed conflict, the pipelines may increase tensions as construction reaches Shan State, where there is a possibility of renewed armed conflict between the Burmese Army and specific ethnic armed groups. The Army is currently forcibly recruiting and training villagers in project areas to fight. EarthRights has obtained confidential Production Sharing Contracts detailing the structure of multi-million dollar signing and production bonuses that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is required to pay to MOGE officials regarding its involvement in two offshore oil and gas development projects that, at present, are unrelated to the Burma- China pipelines. EarthRights believes the amount and structure of these payments are in-line with previously disclosed resource development contracts in Burma, and are likely representative of contracts signed for the Burma-China pipelines; contracts that remain guarded from public scrutiny. Accordingly, the operators of the Burma- China pipeline projects would have already made several tranche cash payments to MOGE, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars..."
Language: English, Korean
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
Format/size: pdf (1.23 - English; 1.9MB - Korean)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/the-burma-china-pipelines-korean.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011


Title: KIO Open Letter to the People's Republic of China
Date of publication: 16 March 2011
Description/subject: Text of the open letter sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao, in which the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) asks China to stop the planned Mali Nmai Concluence (Myitsone) Dam Project to be built in Burma’s northern Kachin state, warning that the controversial project could lead to civil war
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)
Format/size: pdf (878K)
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2011


Title: China’s Myanmar Strategy: Elections, Ethnic Politics and Economics
Date of publication: 21 September 2010
Description/subject: OVERVIEW: Myanmar’s 2010 elections present challenges and opportunities for China’s relationship with its south-western neighbour. Despite widespread international opinion that elections will be neither free nor fair, China is likely to accept any poll result that does not involve major instability. Beijing was caught off-guard by the Myanmar military’s offensive into Kokang in August 2009 that sent more than 30,000 refugees into Yunnan province. Since then it has used pressure and mediation to push Naypyidaw and the ethnic groups that live close to China’s border to the negotiating table. Beyond border stability, Beijing feels its interests in Myanmar are being challenged by a changing bilateral balance of power due to the Obama administration’s engagement policy and China’s increasing energy stakes in the country. Beijing is seeking to consolidate political and economic ties by stepping up visits from top leaders, investment, loans and trade. But China faces limits to its influence, including growing popular opposition to the exploitation of Myanmar’s natural resources by Chinese firms, and divergent interests and policy implementation between Beijing and local governments in Yunnan. The Kokang conflict and the rise in tensions along the border have prompted Beijing to increasingly view Myanmar’s ethnic groups as a liability rather than strategic leverage. Naypyidaw’s unsuccessful attempt to convert the main ceasefire groups into border guard forces under central military command raised worries for Beijing that the two sides would enter into conflict. China’s Myanmar diplomacy has concentrated on pressing both the main border groups and Naypyidaw to negotiate. While most ethnic groups appreciate Beijing’s role in pressuring the Myanmar government not to launch military offensives, some also believe that China’s support is provisional and driven by its own economic and security interests. The upcoming 7 November elections are Naypyidaw’s foremost priority. With the aim to institutionalise the army’s political role, the regime launched the seven-step roadmap to “disciplined democracy” in August 2003. The elections for national and regional parliaments are the fifth step in this plan. China sees neither the roadmap nor the national elections as a challenge to its interests. Rather, Beijing hopes they will serve its strategic and economic interests by producing a government perceived both domestically and internationally as more legitimate. Two other factors impact Beijing’s calculations. China sees Myanmar as having an increasingly important role in its energy security. China is building major oil and gas pipelines to tap Myanmar’s rich gas reserves and shorten the transport time of its crude imports from the Middle East and Africa. Chinese companies are expanding rapidly into Myanmar’s hydropower sector to meet Chinese demand. Another factor impacting Beijing’s strategy towards Myanmar is the U.S. administration’s engagement policy, which Beijing sees as a potential challenge to its influence in Myanmar and part of U.S. strategic encirclement of China. Beijing is increasing its political and economic presence to solidify its position in Myanmar. Three members of the Politburo Standing Committee have visited Myanmar since March 2009 – in contrast to the absence of any such visits the previous eight years – boosting commercial ties by signing major hydropower, mining and construction deals. In practice China is already Myanmar’s top provider of foreign direct investment and through recent economic agreements is seeking to extend its lead. Yet China faces dual hurdles in achieving its political and economic goals in Myanmar. Internally Beijing and local Yunnan governments have differing perceptions of and approaches to border management and the ethnic groups. Beijing prioritises border stability and is willing to sacrifice certain local commercial interests, while Yunnan values border trade and profits from its special relationships with ethnic groups. In Myanmar, some Chinese companies’ resource extraction activities are fostering strong popular resentment because of their lack of transparency and unequal benefit distribution, as well as environmental damage and forced displacement of communities. Many believe such resentment was behind the April 2010 bombing of the Myitsone hydropower project. Activists see some large-scale investment projects in ceasefire areas as China playing into Naypyidaw’s strategy to gain control over ethnic group territories, especially in resource- rich Kachin State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (Asia Briefing N° 112)
Format/size: pdf (1.06MB)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2010


Title: De Kunming a Mandalay: la nouvelle "Route de Birmanie"
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: Développement des échanges commerciaux le long de la frontière sino-birmane depuis 1988... "Ce papier analyse les relations sino-birmanes et cherche à rendre compte de la vitalité et de la complexité des relations commerciales frontalières. Pour cela trois niveaux de réflexions doivent être mis en regard. Tout d'abord, l'engouement pour les échanges commerciaux est mis en perspectives avec les objectifs stratégiques plus larges de chacun des deux pays. Les relations bilatérales sont motivées par des intérêts économiques et sécuritaires tels que la sécurité énergétique, l'approvisionnement en matières premières, la coopération en faveur d'un développement régional ou encore le désenclavement des provinces de l'intérieur. Ensuite, il est essentiel de décrire la situation politique et la composition de la population dans les régions frontalières afin de comprendre la relative fluidité des biens, mais aussi des personnes dans ces régions. La seconde partie de cet article dressera donc un tableau détaillé des zones frontalières sino-birmanes. Enfin, dans une dernière partie, nous soulignerons le rôle important joué par la population d'origine chinoise en Birmanie (même s'il ne s'agit pas des seuls acteurs des échanges commerciaux). Aujourd'hui, le renouveau de l'identité chinoise et des communautés chinoises est à la fois un facteur et le résultat du rapide développement des échanges bilatéraux."
Author/creator: Abel TOURNIER, Hélène LE BAIL
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: IFRI, Asie.Visions 25
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ifri.org
Date of entry/update: 16 March 2010


Title: From Kunming to Mandalay: The new "Burma Road"
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Since the legalization of Sino-Myanmar border trade in 1988, flows of goods and persons have developed tremendously along the long frontier shared by these two countries. Reliable figures on bilateral trade, and to an even greater extent on migration, are scarce and contested. What is sure is that these exchanges are having deep consequences on both Yunnan and Myanmar. Some Chinese industries and workers, for example in mining, logging or jade trading, are dependent on access to primary resources across the border. A number of transnational issues affecting Yunnan province, such as drug trafficking and the spread of HIV/AIDS, have their roots in the Myanmar socio-political situation. With the planned completion of CNPC oil and gas pipelines in 2013, the strategic importance of the border will be further raised for China. Thus, China is expecting the upcoming legislative elections to bring about increased stability and development in Myanmar and the border areas while it tries to use its limited leverage to make that happen. China's relationship with Myanmar is often seen as unbalanced, with the former having the upper hand and being the only one benefiting from the relationship. As stated above, Chinese influence and presence in Myanmar is not only limited, it is also creating economic opportunities for Myanmar citizens, be they of Chinese descent or not. In fact, it is not on the border but at the central level that the problems created by Myanmar relations with China must be addressed. First, deep economic reforms are needed for Myanmar to move away from its overreliance on the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources to an improvement of agricultural, industrial and trade policies. Second, benefits stemming from ongoing projects between the Myanmar government and Chinese companies should be better shared with a Myanmar population that direly needs better health and education services."
Author/creator: Abel TOURNIER, Hélène LE BAIL
Language: English
Source/publisher: IFRI, Asie.Visions 25
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ifri.org
Date of entry/update: 16 March 2010


Title: Corridor of Power - China’s Trans-Burma Oil and Gas pipelines
Date of publication: 07 September 2009
Description/subject: Introduction: "On June 16, 2009 China's Vice-President Xi Jinping and Burma's Vice-Senior General Maung Aye signed a memorandum of understanding relating to the development, operation and management of the "Myanmar-China Crude Oil Pipeline Projects." After years of brokering deals and planning, China has cemented its place not only as the sole buyer of Burma's massive Shwe Gas reserves, but also the creator of a new trans-Burma corridor to secure shipment of its oil imports from the Middle East and Africa. China's largest oil and gas producer -the China National Petroleum Corporation or CNPC - will build nearly 4,000 kilometers of dual oil and gas pipelines across the heartland of Burma beginning in September 2009. CNPC will also purchase offshore natural gas reserves, handing the military junta ruling Burma a conservative estimate of one billion US dollars a year over the next 30 years. Burma ranks tenth in the world in terms of natural gas reserves yet the per capita electricity consumption is less than 5% that of neighbouring Thailand and China. Burma already receives US$ 2.4 billion per year - nearly 50 percent of revenues from exports - from natural gas sales but spends a pittance on health and education; one reason it was ranked as the second-most corrupt country in the world in 2008. Entrenched corruption combined with energy shortages have led to social unrest in the conflict-ridden country; unprecedented demonstrations in 2007 were sparked by a spike in fuel prices. An estimated 13,200 soldiers are currently positioned along the pipeline route. Past experience has shown that pipeline construction and maintenance in Burma involves forced labour, forced relocation, land confiscation, and a host of abuses by soldiers deployed to the project area. A lack of transparency or assessment mechanisms leaves critical ecosystems under threat as well. Yet it is not only the people of Burma who are facing grave risks from these projects. The corporations, governments, and financiers involved also face serious financial and security risks. A re-ignition of fighting between the regime and ceasefire armies stationed along the pipeline route; an unpredictable business environment that could arbitrarily seize property or assets; and public relations disasters as a result of complicity in human rights abuses and environmental destruction all threaten investments. The Shwe Gas Movement is therefore calling companies and governments to suspend the Shwe Gas and Trans-Burma Corridor projects; shareholders, institutional investors and pension funds to divest their holdings in these companies; and banks to refrain from financing these projects unless affected peoples are protected."
Language: English, Burmese (press releases in also in Chinese and Thai)
Source/publisher: Shwe Gas Movement
Format/size: pdf (2.5MB, 2.3MB, English version; 7.7MB, Burmese version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.shwe.org/ (press releases in English, Burmese, Chinese and Thai)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Corridor_of_PowerSGM-bu.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/CorridorofPower-SGM-red.pdf (English)
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2009


Title: China’s Chance
Date of publication: June 2009
Description/subject: How the global financial crisis has helped Beijing expand its influence in Southeast Asia
Author/creator: Antoaneta Bezlova
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 June 2009


Title: China-Burma Ties in 1954: The Beginning of the “Pauk Phaw” Era
Date of publication: May 2009
Description/subject: "Although Burma was the first non-socialist country to recognize new China, the favorable beginning failed to facilitate development of China-Burma relations in the early period (1949-1953). On the contrary, their relations were “noncommittal and very cold”.1 Both sides were suspicious and mistrustful to each other. China regarded Burma as an underling of imperialist countries. Burma feared that China would invade it and threaten its national security. The cold condition began to alter when two countries’ Premiers visited each other in 1954. After 1954, Beijing and Rangoon began to contact closely and frequently, and China-Burma relations entered the friendly “Pauk Phaw” (fraternal) era during the Cold War. Some have been written about general China-Burma relations in the Cold War, but little as yet has been done in the detail of their ties, particularly the shift in 1954. This study focuses on the manifestation, the causes and impact of the relations change. The turn of 1954 basically consisted of two dimensions: political and economic relations..."
Author/creator: Fan Hongwei
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of China Studies University of Malaya - ICS Working Paper No. 2009-21
Format/size: pdf (352K)
Date of entry/update: 25 March 2010


Title: Myanmar-PRC sign agreements
Date of publication: 27 March 2009
Description/subject: 4 PRC-Myanmar agreements on: (1) the Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipelines; (2) the Development of Hydropower Resources; (3) Buyer's Credit for Construction Projects; and (4) Economic and Technical Cooperation...pictures of the signing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The New Light of Myanmar"
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 27 March 2009


Title: China and Japan's Economic Relations with Myanmar: Strengthened vs. Estranged
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: "China has historically been the most important neighbor for Myanmar, sharing a long 2185 km border. Myanmar and China call each other "Paukphaw," a Myanmar word for siblings that is never used for any country other than China, reflecting their close and cordial relationship. The independent China-Myanmar relationship is premised on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, including mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty and mutual non-aggression. Japan and Myanmar have also had strong ties in the post-World War II period, often referred to as a "special relationship", or a "historically friendly relationship."! That relationship was established through the personal experiences and sentiments ofNe Win and others in the military and political elite of independent Myanmar. Aung San, Ne Win and other leaders of Myanmar's independence movement were members of the "Thirty Comrades," who were educated and trained by Japanese army officers.2 However, China's and Japan's relations with Myanmar have developed in contrast to one another since 1988, when the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), later re-constituted as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), took power by military coup. The military government in Myanmar has improved and strengthened its relations with China, while their relationship with Japan has worsened and cooled. What accounts for the differences in China's and Japan's relations with Myanmar? The purpose of this chapter is to examine the development and changes in China-Myanmar and Japan-Myanmar relations from historical, political, diplomatic and particularly economic viewpoints. Based on discussions, the author evaluates China's growing influences on the Myanmar government and economy, and identifies factors that, on the contrary, have put Japan and Myanmar at a distance since 1988..."
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
Format/size: pdf (201K)
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Regional Political Economy of China Ascendant:- Pivotal Issues and Critical Perspectives. Chapter 4: China Engages Myanmar as a Chinese Client State?
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Introduction: The Role of Energy in Sino-Myanmar Relations; Myanmar Plays the China Card; China Engages Myanmar in the ASEAN Way; Conclusion: Norms, Energy and Beyond: "Conclusion: Norms, Energy and Beyond This chapter has demonstrated two points. First, although ASEAN, China, India, and Japan form partnership with Myanmar for different reasons, interactions among the regional stakeholders with regard to Myanmar have reinforced the regional norm of non-intervention into other states’ internal affairs. Both India and Japan, the two democratic countries in the region, have been socialized, though in varying degrees, into the norm when they engage Myanmar as well as ASEAN.67 The regional normative environment or structure in which all stakeholders find themselves defines or constitutes their Asian identities, national interests, and more importantly, what counts as rightful action. At the same time, regional actors create and reproduce the dominant norms when they interact with each other. This lends support to the constructivist argument that both agent and structure are mutually constitutive.68 This ideational approach prompts us to look beyond such material forces and concerns as the quest for energy resources as well as military prowess to explain China’s international behaviour. Both rationalchoice logic of consequences and constructivist logic of appropriateness are at work in China’s relations with Myanmar and ASEAN. But pundits grossly overstate the former at the expense of the latter. To redress this imbalance, this chapter asserts that China adopts a “business as usual” approach to Myanmar largely because this approach is regarded as appropriate and legitimate by Myanmar and ASEAN and practised by India and Japan as well, and because China wants to strengthen the moral legitimacy of an international society based on the state-centric principles of national sovereignty and nonintervention. As a corollary, we argue that regional politics at play have debunked the common, simplistic belief that Myanmar is a client state of China and that China’s thirst for Myanmar’s energy resources is a major determinant of China’s policy towards the regime. A close examination of the oil and gas assets in Myanmar reveals that it is less likely to be able to become a significant player in international oil politics. Whereas Myanmar may offer limited material benefits to China, it and ASEAN at large are of significant normative value to the latter. Ostensibly China adopts a realpolitik approach to Myanmar; however, the approach also reflects China’s recognition of the presence and prominence of a regional normative structure and its firm support for it.".....11 pages of notes and bibliographic references
Author/creator: Pak K. Lee, Gerald Chan and Lai-Ha Chan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya
Format/size: pdf (892K - OBL version; 1.2MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/China_engages_Myanmar_as_client_state.pdf-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2011


Title: CHINA IN BURMA: THE INCREASING INVESTMENT OF CHINESE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS IN BURMA’S HYDROPOWER, OIL AND NATURAL GAS, AND MINING SECTORS
Date of publication: September 2008
Description/subject: Updated September 2008...INTRODUCTION: Amidst recent international interest in China’s moves to secure resources throughout the world and recent events in Burma1, the international community has turned its attention to China’s role in Burma. In September 2007, the violent suppression of a peaceful movement led by Buddhist monks in Burma following the military junta’s decision to drastically raise fuel prices put the global spotlight on the political and economic relationships between China and neighboring resource-rich Burma. EarthRights International (ERI) has identified at least 69 Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) involved in at least 90 hydropower, oil and natural gas, and mining projects in Burma. These recent findings build upon previous ERI research collected between May and August 2007 that identified 26 Chinese MNCs involved in 62 projects. These projects vary from small dams completed in the last two decades to planned oil and natural gas pipelines across Burma to southwest China. With no comprehensive information about these projects available in the public domain, the information included here has been pieced together from government statements, English and Chinese language news reports, and company press releases available on the internet. While concerned that details of the projects and their potential impacts have not been disclosed to affected communities of the general public, we hope that this information will stimulate additional discussion, research, and investigation into the involvement of Chinese MNCs in Burma. Concerns over political repression in Burma have led many western governments to prohibit new trade with and investment in Burma, and have resulted in the departure of many western corporations from Burma; notable exceptions include Total of France and Chevron3 of the United States. Meanwhile, as demand for energy pushes many Asian countries to look abroad for natural resources, Burma has been an attractive destination. India, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, and China are among the Asian countries with the largest investments in Burma’s hydropower, oil and natural gas, and mining sectors. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Burma’s oil and natural gas sectors, for example, more than tripled from 2006 to 2007, reaching US$ 474. million, representing approximately 90% of all FDI in 2007. While China has embraced a foreign policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, the line between business and politics in a country like Burma is blurred at best. In pursuit of Burma’s natural resources, China has provided Burma with political support, 6 military armaments,7 and financial support in the form of conditions-free loans.8 Investments in Burma’s energy sectors provide billions of US dollars in financial support to the military junta, which devotes at least 40% of its budget to military spending, 9 only slightly more than 1% on healthcare, and around 5% on public education.10 These kinds of economic and political support for the current military regime constitute a concrete involvement in Burma’s internal affairs. The following is a brief introduction to and summary of the major completed, current and planned hydropower, oil and natural gas, and mining projects in Burma with Chinese involvement. All information is based on Chinese and English language media available on the internet and likely represents only a fraction of China’s actual investment.
Language: English, Burmese, Chinese, Spanish
Source/publisher: EarthRights International
Format/size: pdf (825K; 3.22MB- original, Alternate URL; 1.85MB - Burmese; 1.3MB - Chinese; 3.52MB - Spanish)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/publication/china-burma-increasing-investment-chinese-multinational-corporations-burmas-hydropower-o
http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/publications/China-in-Burma-update-2008-English.pdf (English)
http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/publications/China-in-Burma-update-2008-Burmese.pdf (Burmese)
http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/publications/China-in-Burma-update-2008-Chinese.pdf (Chinese)
http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/publications/China-in-Burma-update-2008-Spanish.pdf (Spanish)
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2010


Title: « Le nouveau partenariat commercial sino-birman de 1988 et ses effets en Birmanie : Illustration à la lumière du cas de Mandalay »
Date of publication: August 2008
Description/subject: TABLE DES MATIERES:-- PREMIÈRE PARTIE- 1. INTRODUCTION: 1.1 La Birmanie, un état méconnu: l’isolationnisme en cause; 1.2. Les relations sino-birmanes comme cadre d’analyse; 1.3. Problématique : Mandalay et sa nouvelle population chinoise: Illustration des effets « pervers » des relations commerciales sino-birmanes; 1.4. Structure du texte et méthodologie... DEUXIEME PARTIE:- 2. LE PARTENARIAT ECONOMIQUE ET COMMERCIAL SINO-BIRMAN: 2.1. Les relations sino-birmanes avant 1988 : une amitié sous tension; 2.2. L’économie birmane à la veille de la prise de pouvoir du SLORC en septembre 1988; 2.3. Le commerce frontalier sino-birman et ses enjeux en Birmanie... TROISIEME PARTIE:- 3. ILLUSTRATION DES EFFETS PERVERS DU COMMERCE SINO-BIRMAN: 3.1. Le cas de Mandalay : les conséquences de l’immigration chinoise; 3.2. Vérification de l’hypothèse de départ et conclusion générale... BIBLIOGRAPHIE:- 1. Ouvrages de référence; 2. Articles de journaux et revues périodiques; 2.1. Sur la Birmanie de manière générale; 2.2. Au sujet des relations sino - birmanes; 3. Sources Internet (documents en ligne); 3.1. Sur la Birmanie de manière générale; 3.2. Sur les relations sino - birmanes; 3.3. Articles de presse en ligne traitant des relations sino - birmanes; 3.4. Autres Sources de presse en ligne
Author/creator: Charles APOTHEKER
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: UNIVERSITE DE LAUSANNE FACULTE DES SCIENCES SOCIALES ET POLITIQUES INSTITUT D’ETUDES POLITIQUES INTERNATIONALES
Format/size: pdf (232K)
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2009


Title: Financing Small and Medium Enterprises in Myanmar
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) share the biggest part in Myanmar economy in terms of number, contribution to employment, output, and investment. Myanmar economic growth is thus totally dependent on the development of SMEs in the private sector. Today, the role of SMEs has become more vital in strengthening national competitive advantage and the speedy economic integration into the ASEAN region. However, studies show that SMEs have to deal with a number of constraints that hinder their development potential, such as the shortage in power supply, unavailability of long-term credit from external sources and many others. Among them, the financing problem of SMEs is one of the biggest constraints. Such is deeply rooted in demand and supply issues, macroeconomic fundamentals, and lending infrastructure of the country. The government's policy towards SMEs could also lead to insufficient support for the SMEs. Thus, focusing on SMEs and private sector development as a viable strategy for industrialization and economic development of the country is a fundamental requirement for SME development. This paper recommends policies for stabilizing macro economic fundamentals, improving lending infrastructures of the country and improving demand- and supply-side conditions from the SMEs financing perspective in order to provide a more accessible financing for SMEs and to contribute in the overall development of SMEs in Myanmar thereby to sharpen national competitive advantage in the age of speedy economic integration."... Keywords: small and medium enterprise (SME), financing, competitiveness... JEL classification: G20, G30, L60, M10
Author/creator: Aung Kyaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE)...IDE Discussion paper No, 148
Format/size: pdf (590K)
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008


Title: China's Opening-up Strategy and Its Economic Relations with ASEAN Countries -- A Case Study of Yunnan Province
Date of publication: February 2008
Description/subject: Concllusion: "The report approaches China's opening-up strategy and China's economic relations with ASEAN countries, meanwhile it takes Yunnan province as a case, analyzes Yunnan's economic cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. We can draw some conclusion from the analysis 1. Opening-up is China's basic state policy. Since 1978 when China started reform and opening-up, its economy has been developing rapidly and the living standards of the Chinese people have been notably improved. The unprecedented social changes and expanding liberalization have injected great vigor into China's development and vitality into the global economy. China's sustained and rapid economic growth is attributed to opening-up. Facts have proven that China's opening up strategy steered China towards to the right course. China will firmly implementing an opening up strategy for mutually beneficial and win-win nature, intensifying trade and economic cooperation and realizing common development with other countries. 2. Though economic strength constantly increased, China is still a developing country. As a world's largest developing country, China and other developing countries have much common interests. To consolidate and develop friendly and cooperative relations with developing countries remain as the base stone in China's foreign policy. To strengthen South- South cooperation, raising South- South cooperation level, and expanding assistance to the developing countries will probably be the focal point of China's South-South cooperation in the future. 3. Southeast Asian countries are China's neighboring countries, the bilateral friendly tie goes back to the ancient times. At present, the relationship between China and Southeast Asian countries is in the best stage after founding of the People's Republic China. Establishment of China-ASEAN FTA, the GMS cooperation are the remarkable symbol of good neighbourly and friendly relations development between China and Southeast Asian countries in new historical stage, and it is also a good example of South- South cooperation. The neighborhood policy of building friendship and partnership with our neighboring countries will not only become China's guiding principle for handling foreign political relations, but also become the guiding principle for handling economic cooperation with neighbouring countries. 4. In China's economic relations with Southeast Asian countries, trade occupies the most important position. In recent years China's trade deficit has been higher than favourable balance of trade in its trade with Southeast Asia. China has become the third largest worldwide importer, creating more manufacture and job opportunities for many trade partners. Interdependence between China and Southeast Asian countries deepens. Two sides become the other's major market each other. China cannot develop without the world, while the world needs China for its prosperity. this tendency is more and more apparent in economic relations between China and Southeast Asia. As one of the two important sides of China's basic state policy of opening-up, "going global" has been identified as a major national strategy by Chinese government. In the wake of economic development, China's investment in Southeast Asian countries and project contracts will further increase. The forms of investment may be diversified from the simple business establishment to cross-border mergers and acquisitions, equity swap, overseas listing, R&D centers and industrial parks. 5. The Southwest China regions neighboring on Southeast Asian countries play a important role in China's economic relations with Southeast Asia. Of which Yunnan province borders three countries, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and it has kept close economic and cultural ties with neighbouring countries. Yunnan province has an obvious advantage in the establishment of China-ASEAN FTA. Yunnan's sustained and rapid economic growth is attributed to opening-up, especially opening up to Southeast Asian countries. Yunnan made great progress through border trade, participation in the GMS cooperation, and building China-ASEAN FTA. However, as to China's trade with Southeast Asia, and also as to China's investment in Southeast Asia, Yunnan is not accounted for more than 1 percent, almost has no status. As a result, Yunnan still has long way to go for catching up advanced coastal and inland regions of China. 6. The GMS cooperation is a multilateral cooperation mechanism. The GMS represents a correct direction of cooperative development in developing countries and it establishes some commonly accepted principles which have gradually developed from the cooperation of member countries throughout the GMS process. Its successful experience of GMS is worth summing up and spreading. Yunnan plays a constructive role in the GMS cooperation. It is important task to continue pushing forward development of the GMS for both China and other countries."....Some useful trade figures in the appendices.
Author/creator: Zhu Zhenming
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (VRF paper 435)
Format/size: pdf (542K)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


Title: Myanmar’s economic relations with China: who benefits and who pays?
Date of publication: January 2008
Description/subject: "Against the background of closer diplomatic, political and security ties between Myanmar and China since 1988, their economic relations have also become stronger throughout the 1990s and up to the present. China is now a major supplier of consumer and capital goods to Myanmar, in particular through border trade. China also provides a large amount of economic cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, state-owned economic enterprises (SEEs) and energy. Nevertheless, Myanmar’s trade with China has failed to have a substantial impact on its broad-based economic and industrial development. China’s economic cooperation apparently supports the present regime, but its effects on the whole economy are limited. At worst, bad loans might need to be paid off by Myanmar and Chinese stakeholders, including taxpayers. Strengthened economic ties with China will be instrumental in regime survival, but will not be a powerful force affecting the process of economic development in Myanmar. Myanmar and China call each other ‘paukphaw’, a Myanmar word for siblings. Paukphaw is not used for any other foreign country, reflecting Myanmar and China’s close and cordial relationship.1 For Myanmar, China has historically been by far its most important neighbour, sharing the longest border, of 2227 kilometres. Myanmar regained its independence in 1948 and quickly welcomed the birth of the People’s Republic of China in the next year. The Sino–Myanmar relationship has always been premised on five principles of peaceful coexistence, which include mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and mutual non-aggression (Than 2003). Nevertheless, independent Myanmar has been cautious about its relationship with China. In reality, Sino–Myanmar relations have undergone a series of ups and downs and China has occasionally posed a real threat to Myanmar’s security, such as the incursion of defeated Chinese Nationalist (Kuomintang or KMT) troops into the northern Shan State in 1949, overt and covert Chinese support for the Burmese Communist Party’s insurgency against Yangon up until 1988 and confrontations between Burmese and resident overseas Chinese, including militant Maoist students in 1967. Indeed, the Myanmar leadership, always extremely sensitive about the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial 87 integrity, had long observed strict neutrality during the Cold War, avoiding obtaining military and economic aid from the superpowers. Dramatic changes have emerged since the birth in 1988 of the present government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), originally called the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). The United States, the European Union, Japan and multilateral aid organisations all withheld official development assistance and some Western countries imposed political sanctions and weapons embargoes after 1990. Under mounting international pressure, the military regime in Yangon had no choice but to approach Beijing for help. As diplomatic, political and security ties between the two countries grew closer, economic relations also strengthened. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the development of and changes in Myanmar–China economic relations since 1988 and to evaluate China’s growing influence on the Myanmar economy. It seeks to answer the question of whether or not the Myanmar economy can survive and grow with reinforced economic ties with China. In other words, can China support the Myanmar economy against the imposition of economic sanctions by Western countries? This question is relevant to assess the impact and effectiveness of sanctions. The chapter also tries to answer another question—namely, who benefits in what ways and who pays what costs as the two countries strengthen their ties, in spite of Myanmar’s isolation from the mainstream of the international community. The second section introduces a brief history of how the two countries have become the closest of allies since 1988. The third section examines trade relations between Myanmar and China, while the fourth section describes Chinese economic and business cooperation with Myanmar. The last section summarises the author’s arguments and answers the research questions..."
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2007 Myanmar/Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (252K)
Alternate URLs: http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar02/pdf_instructions.html
http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar02/pdf/whole_book.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008


Title: Ein Freund und Helfer - China unterstützt aus strategischen und wirtschaftlichen Gründen das Militärregime in Myanmar
Date of publication: December 2007
Description/subject: Staaten wie Russland, Indien, Serbien und die Ukraine liefern bedenkenlos militärische Güter in das Land, dessen Bevölkerung seit Jahrzehnten brutal unterdrückt wird. Insbesondere China verkauft der Junta Waffen in großem Stil: Die Volksrepublik hat sich in den letzten Jahren zu einem der weltweit größten Rüstungsexporteure entwickelt, und auch Myanmar steht auf der Empfängerliste. Waffenlieferungen aus China; Interessen Chinas in Burma; Rolle der UN; Rolle der EU; Military support from China; chinese ambitions in Burma; role of UN; role of EU;
Author/creator: Verena Harpe
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: Html (21kb)
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2008


Title: Where Money Grows on Trees
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: Getting to the roots of Burma’s latest timber export trade... They had been rooted in Burma’s soil for many years, some of them for more than a century. Then the heavy excavation machinery moved in—and the trees moved out, across the border to China. Some Burmese nature lovers say the trees will be homesick, but for Burmese and Chinese entrepreneurs they just represent money. Lots of money..."
Author/creator: Khun Sam
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2008


Title: Why China?
Date of publication: 2007
Description/subject: "To support its growing Economy, China has been exploiting Burma's natural resources cheaply by strongly pleasing the corrupted and incompetent dictators; China is also largest arm supplier, border trader and investor; China's support effectively water down the US and western sanctions. China refuse to condemn the recent killing; blocking stronger sanctions by UNSC; refuse to ask for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the release of all political prisoners; has vetoed a Burma Resolution at the UNSC in January. China is also using Burma as its door to Indian Ocean as part of its so called "string of pearls" strategy that aims to project Chinese power overseas and protect China's energy security at home. "..... Letter to President Hu Jintao on Burma... Chinese dilemma over Burma protests... UNSC asks Burma's Neighbour to use influence on Myanmar... China's crucial role in Burma crisis... Myanmar and the world (Destructive engagement):The outside world shares responsibility for the unfolding tragedy in Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2010


Title: The Ecology of Strategic Interests: China’s Quest for Energy Security from the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea to the Caspian Sea Basin
Date of publication: November 2006
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: This article attempts to explore the ecological dimensions of strategic interests by examining China’s Asia-wide quest for key natural resources and safe seaways for their shipment. It takes a close look at three cases – one in the Indian Ocean region, the South China Sea region, and the Caspian Sea region – to explain interaction between natural resources and China’s emerging strategic interests in Asia. The article shows that Beijing’s quest for key natural resources underlies its economic and strategic alignments with the respective nations of Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Caspian Sea regions. The article implies that International Relations (IR) Theory and policy makers pay very close attention to the anchorage of strategic interests in the struggles over access and control of critical natural resources.... Keywords • Energy Security • China • South Asia • Caspian • Central Asia • East Asia • International Relations Theory
Author/creator: Tarique Niazi
Language: English
Source/publisher: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program
Format/size: pdf (88MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 January 2009


Title: Myanmar’s Economic Relations with China: Can China Support the Myanmar Economy?
Date of publication: July 2006
Description/subject: Abstract: "Against the background of closer diplomatic, political and security ties between Myanmar and China since 1988, their economic relations have also grown stronger throughout the 1990s and up to 2005. China is now a major supplier of consumer and capital goods to Myanmar, in particular through border trade. China also provides a large amount of economic cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, energy and state-owned economic enterprises. Nevertheless, Myanmar’s trade with China has failed to have a substantial impact on its broad-based economic and industrial development. China’s economic cooperation apparently supports the present regime, but its effects on the whole economy will be limited with an unfavorable macroeconomic environment and distorted incentives structure. As a conclusion, strengthened economic ties with China will be instrumental in regime survival, but will not be a powerful force affecting the process of economic development in Myanmar."...Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), China, trade, border trade, economic cooperation, energy, oil and gas
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE DISCUSSION PAPER No. 66
Format/size: pdf (510K)
Date of entry/update: 17 February 2007


Title: A Choice for China: Ending the destruction of Burma's frontier forests
Date of publication: 18 October 2005
Description/subject: (Press release): "... Ending the destruction of Burma’s northern frontier forests" , details shocking new evidence of the massive illicit plunder of Burma’s forests by Chinese logging companies. Much of the logging takes place in forests that form part of an area said to be “very possibly the most bio-diverse, rich, temperate area on earth.” In 2004, more than 1 million cubic meters of timber, about 95% of Burma’s total timber exports to China were illegally exported from northern Burma to Yunnan Province. This trade, amounting to a $250 million loss for the Burmese people, every year, takes place with the full knowledge of the Burmese regime, the government in Beijing and the rest of the international community. Chinese companies, local Chinese authorities, regional Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire groups are all directly involved. “On average, one log truck, carrying about 15 tonnes of timber, logged illegally in Burma, crosses an official Chinese checkpoint every seven minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; yet they do nothing.” Said Jon Buckrell of Global Witness. In September 2001 the government of the People’s Republic of China made a commitment to strengthen bilateral collaboration to address violations of forest law and forest crime, including illegal logging and associated illegal trade. However, since then, illegal imports of timber across the Burma-China border have actually increased by 60%. “A few Chinese businessmen, backed by the authorities in Yunnan Province, are completely undermining Chinese government initiatives to combat illegal logging. Not only are the activities of these loggers jeopardising the prospect of sustainable development in northern Burma they are also breaking Chinese law.” Said Buckrell."... Download as Word (english 2.0 Mb) | PDF (english - low resolution 6.9 Mb) | PDF (english - low resolution - part 1 1.6 Mb) | PDF (english - low resolution - part 2 1.5 Mb) | PDF (english - low resolution - part 3 1.2 Mb) | Word (chinese 2.5 Mb) | PDF (chinese - low resolution 7.8 Mb) | PDF (chinese - low resolution - part 1 4.0 Mb) | PDF (chinese - low resolution - part 2 2.9 Mb) | PDF (chinese - appendices 2.1 Mb) | Word (burmese - press release 47 Kb) | Word (chinese - press release 29 Kb) | Word (burmese - executive summary 51 Kb) In September 2004 EU member states called for the European Commission to produce “…specific proposals to address the issue of Burmese illegal logging…” Later, in October, the European Council expressed support for the development of programmes to address, “the problem of non-sustainable, excessive logging” that resulted in deforestation in Burma. To date, the EU has done next to nothing. “Like China, the EU has so far failed the Burmese people. How many more livelihoods will be destroyed before the Commission and EU member states get their act together?” Asked Buckrell. It is essential that the Chinese government stops timber imports across the Burma-China border, with immediate effect, and until such time sufficient safeguards are in place that can guarantee legality of the timber supply. The Chinese authorities should also take action against companies and officials involved in the illegal trade. Global Witness is calling for the establishment of a working group to facilitate measures to combat illegal logging, to ensure equitable, transparent and sustainable forest management, and to promote long-term development in northern Burma. “It is vitally important that all stakeholders work together to end the rampant destruction of Burma’s forests and to ensure that the necessary aid and long-term investment reach this impoverished region.” Said Jon Buckrell.
Language: Burmese, Chinese, English,
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf, Word
Alternate URLs: http://globalwitness.org
Date of entry/update: 18 October 2005


Title: ‘Going Out’: The Growth of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Southeast Asia and Its Implications for Corporate Social Responsibility
Date of publication: June 2005
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: Analysts have finally started to pay increasing attention to the rapidly rising levels of Chinese investment abroad. Deals such as Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s PC production arm have sparked interest in a quiet revolution. The story now is not just about the flow of foreign investment in China, but also of the flow of China’s investment into other countries. However, most interest so far has concentrated on big ticket investments in the West and the consequences for European and particularly US geopolitical interests. Of less concern thus far have been the implications of Chinese investment on corporate social responsibility. This paper is a preliminary assessment of the potential implications of Chinese investments: in particular, the effect on sanctions designed to improve human rights (with specific reference to Myanmar), and whether pressure can be maintained on foreign investors to comply with international standards and norms in the face of Chinese investment...".....Keywords: China; Southeast Asia; foreign direct investment (FDI); outward direct investment (ODI); corporate social responsibility (CSR); investment
Author/creator: Stephen Frost and Mary Ho
Language: English
Source/publisher: Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Format/size: pdf (118K)
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2009


Title: An Overview of the Market Chain for China's Timber Product Imports from Myanmar
Date of publication: 2005
Description/subject: This article on China's forest trade with Myanmar builds on an earlier study by the same authors: “Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade” [link]. The analysis in this study moves on to identify priority issues along the market chain of the timber trade from the Yunnan-Myanmar border to Guangdong Province and Shanghai on China’s eastern seaboard. Give the increased intensity of logging in northern Myanmar after the introduction of stringent limits on domestic timber production in China in 1998, the authors argue it is now downstream buyers on China’s eastern seaboard who are driving the timber business along the Yunnan Myanmar border. While the boom in the timber business has provided income generating opportunities for many, from villagers in Myanmar to Chinese migrant businessmen, forests that can be cost-effectively harvested in Myanmar along its border with Yunnan are in increasingly short supply. This entails a need to explore priority areas such as transitioning border residents away from a reliance on the timber industry, assessing and mitigating the cross-border ecological damage from logging in Kachin and Shan States, and developing a more sustainable supply of timber in Yunnan through improving state plantations and collective forest management.
Author/creator: Fredrich Kahrl, Horst Weyerhaeuser, Su Yufang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends, Center for International Forestry Research, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Format/size: pdf (1.05 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.forest-trends.org/documents/files/doc_152.pdf
http://www.forest-trends.org/publication_details.php?publicationID=152
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2010


Title: The 'Made in China' Syndrome - Chinese goods flood Burma—but is that good for the Burmese?
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: "Win Hlaing looked around his home in Rangoon and made a list of the household items imported from China. Finally, he gave up—there were just too many. The bathroom was scrutinized first all in this unusual accounting exercise. Toothpaste, toothbrush, towel—“Made in China”. High road from China via Muse, a border town in Burma’s northeastern Shan State. Then came an inventory of the rest of Win Hlaing’s home: flashlight, light bulbs, switches, radio, VCD player, rice cooker and other kitchen accessories, children’s toys. All made in China..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 12,. No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2005


Title: Chinese Outward Direct Investment in Southeast Asia: How much and What are the Regional Implications?
Date of publication: July 2004
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: RAMIFICATIONS OF CHINESE ODI IN ASEAN: "I want to flag two major issues with regard to Chinese ODI in ASEAN. The first concerns Burma and the issue of human rights and sanctions. The second, which is related, is the issue of labour rights and international labour norms. The issue of human rights and sanctions in Burma is a troublesome one. Although Burma Economic Watch (2001) disputes the claim that Asian (and particularly Chinese) companies are filling gaps left by departing European or US companies under pressure from a regime of sanctions, it is too early to say whether this is true. We know so little about Chinese ODI in the country that further research is desperately needed. However, my initial and preliminary research suggests that Burma is attracting more Chinese investment than most people realise. If this is indeed the case, then what role does a sanctions regime play? Will those pushing for sanctions, for instance, be able to pressure Chinese companies, especially SOEs, to disengage from the Burmese economy? It is almost certain that in the current environment Chinese companies will not withdraw investment as a result of pressure from the international community over Burmese human rights abuses. It is impossible to argue that China’s investment in Burma comes with no strings attached, but the government attaches little or no importance to the issue of human rights abuses committed by the military regime.16 In the longer term, China is building a considerable bank of goodwill with Burmese businesspeople and other sectors in the community. The question that now confronts the international community is not so much whether European investment outweighs Chinese (or Asian), but what role the Chinese will play in a post-junta Burma. For instance, it might now be worthwhile to start considering the question of how Chinese goodwill in the form of aid and investment might play out if the junta falls. Will Europe and the US find themselves marginalised in a rebuilding process, or at the very best having to deal with the Chinese state and SOEs to play a significant role?..."
Author/creator: Stephen Frost
Language: English
Source/publisher: SEARC Working Paper No. 67
Format/size: pdf (213K)
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2009


Title: One Way Ticket
Date of publication: January 2004
Description/subject: Whether seeking a spouse or a job, there is no turning back for many Burmese women who journey to China By /Ruili, China... "Nandar faces a tough time in Ruili, a Chinese town close to Burma. She has no money and lives in a small, messy room in an apartment building that doubles as a brothel. But her face shows no fear. She looks like many of the Burmese girls who hang out in Ruili at night, their faces painted a ghostly white, sporting tight skirts or jeans, and soliciting men along a busy, shadowy street corner in the town center. But Nandar is not among them—yet..."
Author/creator: Naw Seng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 March 2004


Title: Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade
Date of publication: 2004
Description/subject: Summary: China’s trade in timber products with Myanmar grew substantially from 1997-2002, from 295,474 m3 (round wood equivalent, RWE) in 1997 to 947,765 m3 (RWE) in 2002. Despite increased volume, timber product imports from Myanmar comprised only 2.5% of China’s total timber product imports from 1997-2002. However, the small fraction of total imports masks two important features: i) timber imports from Myanmar are primarily logged in slow-growing natural forests in northern Myanmar; and ii) logging activities that support the China-Myanmar timber trade are increasingly concentrated along the border in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State. This greater concentration of the timber trade has begun to have substantial ecological and socio-economic impacts within China’s borders. The majority of China’s timber product imports from Myanmar are shipped overland through neighboring Yunnan Province – 88% of all imports from 1997-2002 according to China’s national customs statistics. Of these, more than 75% of timber product inflows passed through the three prefectures in northwest Yunnan that border Kachin State. Most of these logging activities are currently concentrated in three areas — Pianma Township (Nujiang Prefecture), Yingjiang County (Dehong Prefecture), and Diantan Township (Baoshan Municipality). Logging that sustains the timber industry along Yunnan’s border with Kachin State is done by Chinese companies that are operating in Myanmar but are based along the border in China. Logging activities in Kachin State, from actual harvesting to road building, are almost all carried out by Chinese citizens. Although the volume of China’s timber product imports from Myanmar is small by comparison, the scale of logging along the border is considerable, and border townships and counties have become over-reliant on the timber trade as a primary means of fiscal revenue. As the costs of logging in Myanmar rise, this situation is increasingly becoming economically unsustainable, and shifts in the timber industry will have significant implications for the future of Yunnan’s border region. Importantly, a large proportion of logging and timber processing along the border is both managed and manned by migrant workers. Because of companies’ and workers’ low level of embeddedness in the local economy, border village communities are particularly vulnerable to swings in the timber trade. More broadly, timber trade has done little to promote sustained economic growth along the China-Myanmar border as profits, by and large, have not been redirected into local economies. In addition to socio-economic pressures, the combination of insufficient regulation in China and political instability in northern Myanmar has exacted a high ecological price. The uncertain regulatory and contractual environment has oriented the border logging industry toward short-term harvesting and profits, rather than investments in longer-term timber production. Degradation in Myanmar’s border forests will have an impact on China’s forests, as wildlife, pest and disease management, forest fire prevention and containment, and controlling natural disasters caused by soil erosion all become increasingly difficult. While political reform in northern Myanmar is a precondition for improved regulation and management of Myanmar’s forests, the Chinese government has a series of economic, trade, security and environmental policy options that it could pursue to ensure its own ecological security and enhance the socio-economic benefits of trade. Potential avenues explored in this analysis include: i) promoting longer-term border trade and distributing benefits from the timber trade, ii) improving border control and industry regulation, iii) enhancing environmental security and strengthening environmental cooperation, and iv) exploring flexibility in the logging ban... TABLE OF CONTENTS: LOGGING IN MYANMAR: A BACKGROUND; MYANMAR’S FORESTS; BASIC TRADE; GEOGRAPHY; AN ANALYSIS OF AGGREGATE IMPORT STATISTICS, 1997-2002; THE LOGGING BAN IN YUNNAN; THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: INTRODUCTION; THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: EXTRACTION; THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: PROCESSING; THE TIMBER PRODUCTION CHAIN: DISTRIBUTION AND EXPORT; TIMBER TRADE TRENDS BY PREFECTURE; BORDER AND TRADE ADMINISTRATION: CHINA; FOREST AND TRADE ADMINISTRATION: MYANMAR; DEVELOPMENTS WITH POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHINA-MYANMAR TIMBER TRADE; CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS; REFERENCES.
Author/creator: Fredrich Kahrl, Horst Weyerhaeuser, Su Yufang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends, World Agroforestry Centre
Format/size: pdf (1.28MB)
Alternate URLs: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:x5pqY-71SO8J:147.202.71.177/~foresttr/publication_details.php%3FpublicationID%3D120+Navigating+the+Border:+An+Analysis+of+the+China-Myanmar+Timber+Trade&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=th&client=firefox-a
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2010


Title: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003... Table of Contents... Recommendations... Introduction... Summary: Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma; SLORC/SPDC-controlled logging; China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State; Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State... Part One: Background: The Roots of Conflict; Strategic location, topography and natural resources; The Peoples of Burma; Ethnic diversity and politics; British Colonial Rule... Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict: Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win; Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP); The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign; The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution; Recent Developments: The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi... The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); The Cabinet; The Three Generals; The Tatmadaw; Regional Commanders... Part Two: Logging in Burma:- The Economy: The importance of the timber trade; Involvement of the Army; Bartering; Burma’s Forests; Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation... The Timber Industry in Burma: The Administration of forestry in Burma; Forest Management in Burma, the theory; The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade... Law enforcement: The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems; Import – Export Figures; SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma; The Pegu Yomas; The illegal timber trade in Rangoon; SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas... Ceasefires: Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002; Ceasefire groups; How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development... Conflict Timber: Logging and the Tatmadaw; Logging as a driver of conflict; Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals... Forced Labour: Forced labour logging... Opium and Logging: Logging and Opium in Kachin State; Logging and Opium in Wa... Conflict on the border: Conflict on the border; Thai-Burmese relations and ‘Resource Diplomacy’; Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents; The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory; The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border; The Salween Scandal in Thailand; Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border... Karen State: The Nature of Conflict in Karen State; The Karen National Union (KNU); The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA); Logging in Karen State; Logging and Landmines in Karen State; Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District... The China-Burma Border: Chinese-Burmese Relations; Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism; The impact of logging in China; The impact of China’s logging ban; The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border... Kachin State: The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State; The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO); Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy; Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects; The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K)); The Kachin Defence Army (KDA); How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ; Logging in Kachin State; Gold Mining in Kachin State; The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project; Road Building in Kachin State... Wa State: Logging in Wa State; Timber Exports through Wa State; Road building in Wa State; Plantations in Wa State... Conclusion... Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations; National Policy, Laws and Regulations; National Commission on Environmental Affairs; Environmental policy; Forest Policy; Community Forestry; International Environmental Commitments... Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG): Ministerial Declaration... References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]
Language: English (Thai & Kachin summaries)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (4 files: 1.8MB, 1.4MB, 2.0MB, 2.1MB) 126 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org
http://asiantribune.com/news/2003/10/10/conflict-interests-uncertain-future-burmas-forests
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 3 - China–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Historical preface; II Strategic relations; III Drugs in the China–Burma relationship; IV China-Burma border: the HIV/AIDS nexus; V Chinese immigration: cultural and economic impact; VI Opening up southwest China; VII Gains and losses for various parties where Burma is (a) democratizing or (b) under Chinese “suzereinty”; VIII Possible future focus; IX Conclusions. " This paper has argued that China’s support for the military regime in Burma has had negative consequences for both Burma and China. The negative impact on Burma of its relationship with China is that it preserves an incompetent and repressive order and locks the country into economic and political stagnation. The negative impact on China is that Burma has become a block to regional development and an exporter of HIV/AIDS and drugs. China’s comprehensive national interests would be best served by an economically stable and prosperous Burma. China could help the development of such an entity by encouraging a political process in Burma that would lead to an opening up of the country to international assistance and a more competent and publicly acceptable administration..."
Author/creator: David Arnott
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (274K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2003


Title: Jiang Visit Yields New Deals, But Tensions Persist
Date of publication: December 2001
Description/subject: "Seven new accords covering bilateral economic relations and border security were signed as Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s made his first-ever visit to Burma on Dec 12. But despite eagerness on both sides to profit more from closer ties formed over the past thirteen years, independent analysts and recent developments pointed to growing strains in the relationship, especially on the economic front..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003