For both sides the pendulum hinges on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and whether she will sacrifice a site of great environmental and cultural significance, or choose instead to risk alienating China.
Either way, she doesn’t have much time. When her National League for Democracy takes up the lead of the government next year, the temporary suspension of the Myitsone dam – located near the confluence of the Maikha and Malikha rivers just north of Myitkyina – will be up for renegotiation.
Political analyst Yun Sun from the US-based Stimson Center gives the party a six-to-12-month window before China will demand a yes-or-no response.
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