July 07, 2020

In Myanmar, A Rare Glimmer of Hope for Indian Regional Policy

In the barren, high altitude Himalayan region between China and India, a clash on June 15 left twenty Indian soldiers dead. Nationalists on both sides called for demonstrations of strength, but cooler heads prevailed. As they de-escalated the conflict at the border, the battlefield shifted to other areas of competition. India, with an economy one-fifth the size of China’s, has struggled to find avenues for inflicting punishment on China. Even among India’s closest allies on the South Asian sub-continent, China has made inroads in recent years. Bangladesh and Nepal responded to June’s border conflict with silence.

In Myanmar, 4000 kilometers east of where the fighting happened, the past two weeks have provided India some much needed good news.

Beijing’s headaches there began on June 24, when a large cache of Chinese-manufactured weapons was seized in Thailand. The weapons were destined for some of the ethnic separatist armies waging war on Myanmar’s military. In the past, Myanmar has been hesitant to criticize China in such instances. It is heavily dependent on China and has little leverage in the relationship.

Read the full article in The Geopolitics.

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