The European Politics Blog

Blogging about politics and current affairs in Europe


Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her fifteen year long house arrest on 13 November 2010, a move which has seen sanctions against Burma being eased. Detained by the previous military regime, Suu Kyi’s release saw the Burmese government freeing some political prisoners and legalising certain amnesty and trade unions. There does not seem to be much hope for reconciliation and democracy in the country though with Thein Sein as the President of Burma.

In a recent interview with BBC Hardtalk, the President has stated that he is open to Aung San Suu Kyi being elected as President provided that the public backed her. One façade of conflict in the country is illegal immigration of stateless people from neighbouring Bangladesh, who regularly face hostility from many members of the public. Sein has proposed the immigrants be moved from Burma to elsewhere, classifying them as racists. Aung San Suu Kyi however has chosen to play it safe, opting to not comment about the situation.

China is the nation’s ally and President Obama’s recent visit to Burma has not been received warmly in the formerly Communist nation. Once equally authoritarian, the Chinese Propaganda Department ordered the recent US Presidential visit to be kept low-key. There has also been suspicions brewing in Burma that it is pursuing a nuclear program in cooperation with North Korea and until only recently the country offered to undergo international inspection in order to demonstrate that there is no agreement of this sort.

Myanmar has been increasingly dominated by Chinese businesses over the years because China is the country’s largest investor and trade partner. There does not seem much cause for concern for the nation however, because in a recent visit to China, Ko Ko Hlaing, chief political adviser to Thein Sein, has stated that despite international isolation ending in the nation, the bilateral relation between the two nations will continue to prosper. China and Myanmar’s diplomatic ties go back to 1950 during the time of New China.

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