India push spurs US to knock at Myanmar doors

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by JAISWAL, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,512
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    ghaziabad
    Globespotting : Indrani Bagchi's blog-The Times Of India
    .
    .

    New Delhi: When US secretary of state Hillary Clinton travels to Yangon later this week, the first such visit in 50 years, New Delhi can claim some credit for the US’ change of heart.
    “At least our policy to Myanmar is vindicated,” said officials. Over the past couple of years, India has maintained an intensive engagement with the US on the reclusive south-east Asian nation. Since April, 2010, the MEA and US state department have begun an East Asia dialogue, where Indian diplomats have taken pains to explain to the US why engagement was better than sanctions that hit the poor.
    To the extent that New Delhi has been able to convince the US, Myanmar may go down as the first success story of this dialogue. However, the decision by Myanmar’s president Thein Sein in September to stand up to the Chinese by cancelling a $3.6-billion dam project in Myistone signaled more powerfully than anything else that Myanmar was ready to “balance” China.
    India gave $500 milllion in credit to Myanmar in October soon after Naypyidaw’s decision.
    For years, India has fended off US criticism regarding its policy of engagement in Myanmar. When the US and the EU were piling on sanctions on Myanmar’s regime, hoping to see it break under the pressure, Indian diplomats were expounding on the futility of the exercise. Many Indian strategists believe that Myanmar’s isolation drove it into the arms of China. India’s own decision to embrace the military junta was partly to offset this, partly in response to Myanmar’s own desire to have options other than China. India’s security concerns regarding north-east militancy have been addressed so some extent by Myanmar, which has spurred India to engage more deeply with the military regime.
    When the junta decided to go in for a reconciliation programme, leading up to elections in March, 2011, India was cheering from the sidelines. In the past few years, India has intensified its own ties with Myanmar, even being one of the few countries whose diplomats were allowed access to Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. And in December, Delhi will host a parliamentary delegation from Myanmar, led by Thura Shwe Mann, to take lessons in parliamentary democracy from India.
    United States’ engagement in Myanmar will be good news for India, because it balances India’s fears of encirclement by China by its “string of pearls”.
     
  2.  
  3. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Winterland
    Just as Secretary of State's visit was announced, it became very clear to me that India was the only country who helped USA to make it possible due to its policy of engagement with Myanmar. I think this will help raise the profile of India in the eyes of USA. I would not be surprised that in the near future India might score once more by bringing USA and Iran to the table to cool down the temperament.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    US is entering realpolitik!

    The US must take care that they do not appear to be imposing her will or hectoring.

    The situation requires careful handling taking into consideration the sensitivities.
     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India

    Clinton to weigh reforms in historic Myanmar visit

    Clinton's trip to Myanmar follows a decision by U.S. President Barack Obama this month to open the door to expanded ties, saying he saw "flickers of progress" in a country until recently seen as a reclusive dictatorship firmly aligned with its powerful northern neighbor, China.

    Clinton will be the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar -- also known as Burma -- since the military seized power in 1962, and diplomats are looking at her access and the tone of her reception as they assess the changes under way.

    She will meet twice with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the last 21 years in detention after leading a mass popular uprising that was crushed by the army.

    The visit could herald a broader rehabilitation of Myanmar, which is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. It may persuade Washington and other western powers to ease sanctions that have driven the country deeper into Beijing's embrace.

    Clinton departed on Monday, headed first to a development conference in South Korea before flying to Myanmar's remote new capital of Naypyitaw on Wednesday where she will hold talks with President Thein Sein, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin and senior officials from parliament.

    On Thursday, Clinton will travel to the main city of Yangon where she will hold the first of her meetings with Suu Kyi, according to sources in Myanmar.

    Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, has endorsed Clinton's visit and plans to run in a parliamentary by-election later this year, highlighting gradual moves toward democracy.

    Clinton will tour Yangon's dazzling gold-domed Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Myanmar's most revered historical sites and a frequent focus for political activists in the past.

    U.S. officials say she will meet other civil society leaders and representatives of ethnic minority groups which have long battled the government. She will head home on Friday to weigh possible further steps, including easing U.S. sanctions in place since 1988 when the military waged a bloody crackdown on student-led protests.

    DIPLOMATIC GAMBLE

    Myanmar and U.S. officials have disclosed few details of Clinton's schedule, reflecting sensitivities over a trip which analysts say amounts to a diplomatic gamble that Myanmar's political reforms are genuine.

    Clinton -- the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar since John Foster Dulles made the trip in 1955 -- could risk endorsing Myanmar's new leadership prematurely if the reforms are reversed and restrictions reimposed on Suu Kyi.

    While her schedule does not include any "town hall" style meetings that have featured on other overseas trips, Clinton is expected to meet local people at various stops, giving her a chance to practice the direct personal diplomacy that has become her trademark.

    For more than a week, plainclothes U.S. security personnel have been inspecting possible locations Clinton may visit, including the lakeside home of Suu Kyi in Yangon and a shelter for patients with HIV/AIDS run by supporters of her National League for Democracy party, witnesses said.

    In remarks earlier this month, Clinton said Washington was ready to be a partner for Myanmar but only if its new military-backed civilian government carries through on promises to deepen political reforms.

    "We'd like to see more political prisoners released. We would like to see a real political process and real elections. We'd like to see an end to the conflicts, particularly the terrible conflicts with ethnic minorities. But we think there's an opportunity and we want to test it," Clinton said.

    "We're not ending sanctions. We are not making any abrupt changes. We have to do some more fact finding, and that's part of my trip," she told Fox News.

    Clinton's trip caps a period of rapid change in Myanmar after the military handed power to a nominally civilian government following elections last November.

    Since then, the new government has called for peace with ethnic minority groups, displayed some tolerance of criticism, suspended an unpopular Chinese-funded dam project, freed about 230 political prisoners and reached out to Suu Kyi

    But political analysts say Myanmar's military remains strong behind the scenes, leading some analysts to question whether the generals are truly ready to cede power.

    The president, Thein Sein, is a former junta member and parliament is packed with army-backed candidates. The military also continues to flex its muscles in some restive ethnic regions such as northern Kachin state, where sporadic fighting between the army and the Kachin Independence Army has continued since June despite progress in talks with other ethnic groups.

    "Given the Burmese government's long history of authoritarian rule and systematic violations of human rights, vigilance is in order," Suzanne DiMaggio, vice president for global policy at the Asia Society, wrote in a commentary.

    "But this is not the time to sit back, fold our arms, and wait for change to unfold. How Burma's transition plays out is a story that hasn't been written yet."

    CHINA WATCHES FROM THE WINGS

    Clinton's Myanmar visit looked certain to raise concern in China as part of an increasingly assertive U.S. stance in Asia.

    Both Obama and Clinton recently made major diplomatic tours in the region, signaling both to longtime U.S. allies and to Beijing that the United States is not ready to take a back seat to China's political and economic influence.

    Obama, unveiling a "pivot" in U.S. policy toward Asia as wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced a new de facto U.S. military base in Australia and a new willingness to push back against China particularly in Southeast Asia where territorial disputes have caused tension.

    Myanmar -- until recently seen as an economic and political satellite of China -- could be an important part of the puzzle.

    Sino-Myanmar economic ties are booming with some $12.3 billion in Chinese investment in the country. But Myanmar's decision in September to shelve the China-backed $3.6 billion dam project has highlighted strains in the relationship that Clinton may hope to exploit.

    "It reinforces Burma's new willingness to stand a little apart from China, but that should not be overdone. All in all, it's a great breath of fresh air after more than twenty years of policy stalemate," said Douglas Paal, an Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
     
  6. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    Guess the financial bankruptcy of the USA is causing them to think more rationally compared to their haydays when they were on cloud 100. Good. At least after a terrorist attack and 2 severe recessions, at least they realized what is a real threat and what is not.
     
  7. Drsomnath999

    Drsomnath999 lord of 32 teeth Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    1,220
    Location:
    BHUBANESHWAR
    well very good move ,indeed ,india should promote this as slowly & slowly we should break this string of pearls of chinese ,We have US for backing
    india should DO some sakuni budhi to alienate myanmar from china & US should wooo myanmar too may be with more aid & diplomatic backing ,this would encourage myanmar to engage more constructively with WEST & good for india .
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    US cannot be predicted.

    They start of well and then they get too assertive and that spoils the icing on the cake.
     
  9. Drsomnath999

    Drsomnath999 lord of 32 teeth Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    1,220
    Location:
    BHUBANESHWAR
    [B]How to create rift with myanmar & china ?[/B]
    1,Slowly & steadily promote democracy in myanmar with promoting myamar in international arena & engaging US & west to invest in myanmar so the
    myanmar would be less dependent on china

    2. it would be good to have SUU kyi as election candidate as she has good relationship with india would be key to future realtions with india & myanmar

    3. INvest more in oil & infrastructure development in myamar create a competiotion environment in which myanmar thinks it has other options apart from china

    4. More engagement needs to be done in strategic poilcy with myanmar ,more training to myanmar army ,navy & airforce ,this would encourage strategic relationship & would create misunderstanding between china & myammr

    5. last but the least CIA has to involved with india to have a west friendly regime in myammar that's good for india .
    JAI HIND
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Though dated, this article gives some perspective of the Myanmar equation in the US political and strategic interests.
     
  11. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,022
    Likes Received:
    678
    Location:
    delhi
    if we remain active and dynamic for next 10-15 years, myanmar and India can become chuddi buddies like India and bhutan or maldives
     
  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    14,140
    Likes Received:
    8,528
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
  14. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    14,140
    Likes Received:
    8,528
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    She is a member of Congress. These are Mark Twain's quotes on The United States Congress.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
    Ray likes this.
  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    14,140
    Likes Received:
    8,528
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    I heard this on the radio this morning too:
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  16. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,674
    Likes Received:
    2,923
    Location:
    Delhi, India, India
    I think more than US or India, the Myanmar government is responsible for this change. China had a monopoly over them. Monopoly is not good, Myanmar got sucked out dry and felt trapped. Having to turn to the one man for everything doesn't make it better.
    Good that the lessons are learnt now. Although it would be day dreaming to expect them turn a cold shoulder at China but even a neutral Myanmar is welcome across ASEAN. Good moves in tandem feel good :)

    Regards,
    Virendra
     

Share This Page