The main focus of this paper is to analyze the current political and economic relations between China and Myanmar and to present some answers to the following three questions: How do we study the political economy of China-Myanmar relations in the 21st century? What are the features of the current Sino-Myanmar relations? Finally, in what ways do the present relations of these two states differ from those between 1949 to 2000?The paper concludes that the closer economic entente between China and Myanmar in the 21st century is likely to be based on a pattern of asymmetrical complex interdependence, underpinned by political and economic realism of mutual interests and mutual benefits. This 'marriage of convenience' is likely to persist - despite Myanmar's lingering fear towards China due to its emergence as the rising superpower in Southeast Asia. Myanmar can withhold its autonomy notwithstanding domestic constraints and external pressures from the U.S. the EU and the UN. In short, economic rather than political determinants were the main factors shaping the complex interdependent relationship between China and Myanmar between 2001 to 2012.
Tamkang Journal of International Affairs 15(4), pp.1-48