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Modern China-Myanmar Relations

Last Updated on 2020/12/06

This volume examines the changing relations between China and Burma/Myanmar since Burmese independence in 1948 and the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

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Using Chinese sources, it documents the negotiations and settlement of outstanding issues such as the border demarcation, the Chinese Nationalist forces in Burma, the status of the overseas Chinese residents, and the Burma Communist Party.

The study documents the Sino-Burmese riots of 1967, the improvement of relations, culminating in the close bilateral association since 1988–89. It analyses in detail Myanmar’s changing role in Chinese strategy, concentrating on trade and investment relations, oil, gas, hydroelectric power, natural resources and improved transportation. It outlines military cooperation, narcotics control, and migration while emphasizing Indian and ASEAN concerns and responses.

The volume outlines a set of policy dilemmas facing the central and provincial Chinese authorities, the Myanmar government and Burmese ethnic minorities, while analysing dilemmas for the United States, India, ASEAN and Japan in responding to the changed interdependent Sino-Burmese relationship.

  • First book-length study examining the increasingly important and dynamic relationship between China and Myanmar.
  • Uses hitherto unavailable Chinese sources.
  • Concludes that Myanmar is not a client state of China, and their relationships have become more interdependent.


David I. Steinberg

David I. Steinberg is Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Formerly a Representative of the Asia Foundation in Korea, he has had a distinguished professional career and published extensively on Myanmar-Burma, the Koreas and the wider Asian scene.

Hongwei Fan

Fan Hong-wei is Associate Professor at the Research School of Southeast Asian Studies (Nanyang Yanjiu Yuan), Xiamen University, China. He obtained his Ph.D. in History from Research School of Southeast Asian Studies, Xiamen University. In 2008, he was the postdoctoral fellow in the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He has taught history and international relations in Xiamen University and is also the Editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Affairs. Over a decade, he has contributed more than thirty articles in Chinese, English and Japanese in journals, edited volumes, and newspapers. His research interests and focus cover Burma/Myanmar issues, the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, and China–Southeast Asia relations. He has been the director of the research projects of the Sumitomo Foundation, and China’s Ministry of Education.

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