Stimson in the News

Peace through development: China’s experiment in Myanmar by Yun Sun

By Yun Sun
in Program

Recurring conflict and military stalemate in northern Myanmar have prompted China to embark on a bold experiment – one with implications that Nay Pyi Taw might not yet even comprehend.

WHEN VIEWING the domestic conflicts of a sovereign nation, China sees development and stability as two mutually reinforcing concepts. Instead of focusing on the fair and just distribution of political and economic rights, China prioritises making the economic pie larger so that everyone gets a bigger share.

This approach reflects China’s own experiences in strengthening political stability through economic development. Enhanced economic performance validates the legitimacy of the state and improves stability, which in turn creates conditions for further economic development.

This development-oriented approach towards conflict resolution has resulted in northern Myanmar’s conflicts becoming intrinsic components of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

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