Myanmar is not a claimant in the dispute, but during its turn as ASEAN chair in 2014 it oversaw a tougher line on China than under the previous, more subservient chair Cambodia. During a foreign ministers’ meeting in 2014, ASEAN issued a statement of “serious concerns” over heightening tensions in the dispute. China responded by pledging diplomatic support, and by a showing a willingness to spread cash, among its allies in ASEAN.
Yun Sun, a senior associate with the Stimson Center for China-Myanmar relations, argued that Myanmar has yet to take a clear side on the dispute however.
“It is very safe to call for the observation of the DOC and trying to stay neutral is a quite good and safe position to have within the ASEAN,” she said.
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