Myanmar Round Up: January 2020 (A round up of selected English open source reports on Myanmar)
Jaideep Chanda, Senior Fellow, VIF

Myanmar charged into the New Year with high profile events dominating January 2020, viz. the visit by Xi Jinping; publication of the Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) Report and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) interim verdict. In addition, the release of Chin Member of Parliament (MP) U Whei Tin after 79 days in captivity at the behest of the Mizoram CM Zoramthanga and the tussle with the military to amend the Constitution of Myanmar were noteworthy. Regrettably, there was no letup in violence with a steady stream of civilian casualties especially in Rakhine State.

Visit by Xi Jinping

This first visit by a Chinese President in 19 years on 17-18 January 2020 was apparently to commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. The stated aims of the visit as articulated by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui during media interactions in Beijing on 17 January 2020 were to strengthen relations; deepen Belt and Road Initiative cooperation and to "materialise" the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) i.e. the Myanmar component of the Belt and Road Initiative. The details of the projects signed is as given below:


Table 1: Details of Projects Alluded to during visit of Xi Jinping to Myanmar


Source: Compiled by author from inputs from Mizzima News and Global New Light of Myanmar
*https://www.globalnewlightofmyanmar.com/state-counsellor-president-xi-jinping-hold-bilateral-talks-witness-signing-33-agreements/
The ones in red are those, the signing of which President Xi Jinping and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi witnessed.
The ones in green are the CMEC projects which have actually made some progress.

A detailed assessment of the visit including policy recommendations by this author is available here.1 A vast amount of media blitz preceded and followed the visit.2 Notwithstanding the origin or bias of the reports on the visit, virtually all were unanimous on the need for India to regain initiative in engaging Myanmar. Xi Jinping, published a signed article in various papers to set the tone for the visit.3 What was unusual during this visit was Xi Jinping being taken to task by Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing for supply of weapons to rebel groups. President Xi has been quoted saying, “We categorically deny allegations of supplying arms to ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar but they can acquire these arms by other means, so that we will look into this issue thoroughly to resolve it.”4 This was glossed over by most columnists.

The now suspended (but not cancelled) Myitsone Dam cast its dark shadow over the visit. Formally having been denied permission to protest the visit,5 approximately 40 Kachin based Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) sent an open letter to President Xi to permanently terminate the suspended Myitsone Dam project, saying that the project threatens the prosperity of the Myanmar people and that friendly relations between the two countries will deteriorate if the project goes ahead. 6 Locals termed the initiative as a ‘disrespectful investment’. 7

India has reportedly cautioned Myanmar on growing Chinese influence in Myanmar. The leadership of Myanmar has apparently been requested to look around and understand the Chinese model and adopt a cautious approach.8

ICOE Report

Established on 30 July 2018 by the Myanmar Government, the four member ICOE,9 headed by Philippines former Deputy Foreign Minister,10 was mandated to investigate allegations of human rights violations and related issues following the terrorist attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in Rakhine State with a view to seeking accountability and formulating recommendations on steps to be taken to ensure peace and stability in Rakhine State. The Executive Summary of the ICOE has analysed the issue of mass killings; rape; arson; looting; torture and forced displacement. In all cases it has found corroborated evidence, though much less than as compared to the public perceptions. It found no evidence of rape, which is very unlikely. It also concedes that there were wide gaps in narratives. On the issue of ethnic cleansing and genocide, it refutes the same though it accepts instances of war crimes and excessive use of military force. It acknowledges the mass displacement of civilians from their villages as a result of the violence. It lists out 22 recommendations ranging from seeking accountability from the military chain of command to improvement of national health schemes. Finally, it also acknowledges the support of Bangladesh despite being unable to avail of the assistance due to paucity of time.

From the perspective of timing, both the visit of Xi Jinping and the release of the report of the ICOE were orchestrated to precede the interim judgement of the ICJ on 23 Feb 2020.

ICJ Interim Judgement

The ICJ delivered its ‘Order on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the Republic of The Gambia in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar)’ on 23 January 2020. 11 Vide the ibid order, it directed Myanmar to prevent genocide and report periodically on the progress of implementation of the order, to the ICJ. Expectedly the English language Western media had a field day hailing it is historic. Others were more circumspect and cautioned on the ability of the ICJ to implement its ruling as also highlighted that the ruling was interim and now the onus was on The Gambia to prove the charges. Prima facie, the verdict has put Myanmar on the back foot and caused embarrassment to the military and the leadership. A segment of the media has questioned this selective activism by Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Gambian Government wherein equally repressive measures by China on the Uyghur Muslims have not been fought for. Predictably, Myanmar has rejected it and said it presents a ‘distorted picture of the situation’. 12

Less than one week after the ruling, the UN’s top court announced that The Gambia must submit its initial pleading in the case by July 23, while Myanmar has until Jan. 25, 2021 to reply. The deadlines are sooner than both parties requested. During their public hearings before the court in December last year, The Gambia asked for nine months to prepare its pleading, while Myanmar sought the same length of time to prepare its counter-pleading. The ICJ announced the order effective Jan. 23, granting just six months’ preparation time to each party, “taking into account the exceptional circumstances of the case and its gravity.” 13

Violence

Sporadic violence continued with casualties on both sides. Arakan Army (AA) fighters seized 16 bus drivers from Road Transport Administration Department from a passenger boat Aung Tagon, which had stopped at a site between Sapho Kyun and Oakpho villages in Rathedaung Township, while travelling from the state capital of Sittwe to Buthidaung townships in northern Rakhine State.14 They were subsequently released without harm.15 Further, about 90 AA troops attacked two Myanmar units in Kyauktaw under the cover of buildings. Two civilians were wounded during the attack and some private and government buildings damaged. 16 The military warned the Arakan Army (AA) not to take civilians as hostages and add innocents into the war, said Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun, Secretary of Tatmadaw True News Information Team. His remark came out after the AA plotted an attack in Kyauktaw which injured people and damaged religious buildings on December 28. “The AA attacked the army, which was providing security in Kyauktaw, two times by taking cover from residential places and a child was injured during the first attack. The AA’s attacks have occurred nearby towns and villages lately. That’s why civilians are wounded. They need to refrain to take people as hostages and add people into the war,” he said. 17

AA also announced it is setting up a “Rakhine Peoples’ Authority” to collect taxes from businesses in areas of the state it has taken control of to fund the armed force and its political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA). The Myanmar military and the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party swiftly rejected the new taxation plan as unacceptable and vowed to continue its fight against the rebel group. 18 The AA plans to ‘tax’ big projects like the India-financed Kaladan Multi Modal Transport scheme has been challenged by Chin rebels, threatening a turf war. The Chin National Front (CNF) insists Paletwa is part of the Chin State and the AA‘s claim on it is ‘untenable’. A senior CNF leader, in Aizawl for medical treatment, told Northeast Now that Paletwa was always part of the Chin Special Division and later a part of Chin state. “Rakhines are only fifteen percent of Paletwa’s population, the rest are Chins and smaller tribes of the Mizo-Kuki-Chin family like Khumis. The Arakan Army is pushing Khumis to accept Rakhine identity which is unfair,” the leader said on condition of strict anonymity because disclosure may lead to arrest.19

The violence has had an adverse impact on farming in the region. Over ten thousand acres of paddy have been damaged in seven townships of Arakan (Rathidaung, Buthidaung, Ponna Kyunt, Minbya, Kyauk Taw, Mrauk U and Meabon) as the farmers were unable to harvest the crop due to the violence. U Kyaw Zan, Chairman of Arakanese Farmers Association said over 10,000 acres of paddy were damaged. There are three reasons why farmers could not harvest their crops. First, most of the farmers are taking shelter in IDP camps and they remain unavailable for harvesting. Secondly, many paddy fields are in the battle zones and hence inaccessible. Finally, Myanmar security forces arrested and fired at many farmers on the suspicion of being linked with AA. 20

The AA has also accused the Myanmar army of using drones to attack its troops. Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun, Myanmar military spokesman said the drones currently in use by the Myanmar military are the ordinary type that can be easily bought in a market, and are only used to take pictures and videos. In addition the AA, the Karen National Union (KNU), which signed a truce with the Myanmar government in 2015, said the Myanmar military had been using drones to conduct aerial reconnaissance on its brigades and headquarters every one or two weeks since 2018, adding that the practice undermined the trust between the two sides.21

In law and order typical of warzones, a group of armed men on 2 Jan 2020, stole over 4 million kyats (US$2,700) salaries from border police in Rathedaung Township. Four border guards from the Thazin Myaing outpost in Rathedaung were robbed of the post’s December salaries on their return from Zedi Pyin police station, where they had collected the wages.22

Peace talks

Major Mai Aik Kyaw, Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) spokesperson and speaking on behalf the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Arakan Army (AA), which are members of the Northern Alliance, said the group decided to extend the ceasefire till February 29 to ensure a peaceful 2020 general election. However they retained the right to fight back if attacked, he said.23 This however has had no impact on Rakhine state where violence continues unabated despite the AA being a signatory. 24

Release of Chin MP and India’s Role

The AA released U Whei Tin, the detained National League for Democracy’s (NLD) Upper House parliamentarian, on 21 January 2020 in Paletwa Township, Chin State, western Myanmar, after detaining him for 79 days. 25 The AA said U Whei Tin was released to ensure a sustainable relationship between the Rakhine and Khumi communities and to rebuild trust and friendship. Till 10 January 2020, the AA had insisted on keeping him in detention, saying the group had security concerns if he was released. “The Rakhine and Khumi are like brothers, living in harmony with understanding and trust. We want to rebuild trust and friendship between the two communities, and reconciliation in the long term, so we decided to release U Whei Tin at a safe place in Paletwa on Jan. 21,” said the AA’s statement. U Whei Tin, had been abducted on 3 November 2020. 26

In a diplomatic coup, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga revealed that he, at the initiative of the Government of India and Myanmar, had approached the AA and secured the release of the MP. These quiet understated machinations have produced outcomes which have been appreciated by all stakeholders in Myanmar and India. He is now also looking at facilitating the completion of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project.27 It is currently plagued by security issues.28

Constitutional Amendments

The Constitutional Amendment Committee, a parliamentary body, has submitted bills that would reduce the number of military officers serving as lawmakers. The Commander-In-Chief currently handpicks officers to fill 25% of all upper and lower house seats. Although the military is inclined to reject the legislation, the ruling National League for Democracy intends to use it to demonstrate its resolve to carry out a campaign promise ahead of a planned general election in November 2020. Myanmar's parliament on 27 January 2020 said it had received two bills from the committee. The bills call for gradually reducing the military's quota of parliamentary seats, relaxing the requirements needed to amend the constitution and revising how National Defence and Security Council seats are allocated. The final amendment would give a majority of the council's seats to civilians. The first bill proposes to gradually reduce the military's quota of parliamentary seats to 15 percent in the Third Hluttaw (future parliament related to the 2020 elections), and to 10 percent in the Fourth Hluttaw (future parliament related to the 2025 elections), and to 5 percent in the Fifth Hluttaw. According to the Constitution, a Border Affairs Minister is included in the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC). The second bill proposes to remove the Minister from the NDSC, and to add the Deputy Speakers of the Upper House and the Lower House to the NDSC.

The NLD won a resounding victory in the last general election, in 2015, on a promise to revise the constitution. Last January, it submitted an emergency motion to set up the constitutional amendment committee. The motion was enacted the following month. The committee spent the intervening months summarizing the opinions of various parties and drafting the two bills.29 The military has expectedly tried to rebuff the work being done towards Constitutional Amendments. 30

Travel Ban

President Trump on 31 January 2020, added six countries to his list of nations facing stringent travel restrictions, a move that will virtually block immigration from Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, and from Myanmar, where the Muslim minority is fleeing. The administration has argued that the ban, enacted in 2017 to restrict travel from Muslim-majority countries, is necessary to ensure that countries satisfy security requirements for travel into the United States, or face restrictions until they do. The proclamation will take effect on 22 February 2020. 31 This will not be the only ban on Myanmar with the Magnitsky sanctions also having been imposed last year. However, no major effect is expected from these bans. 32

Japan Myanmar Relations

Japan has consistently backed Myanmar and the Japanese Ambassador has even made a controversial statement saying that no genocide has taken place in Myanmar. The Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a large development project in the heart of Yangon City are evidence that Japan’s presence in Myanmar is increasing fast. Investments from Japan reached over US$ 1.208 billion at the end of June 2019. Thilawa Special Economic Zone saw US$ 1.86 billion investment including from over 50 Japanese companies out of the 110 invested there as on 30th September 2019. Foreign direct investment (FDI) worth more than US$ 11 million has been channeled into Thilawa Special Economic Zone this fiscal year. 33

Taiwan Myanmar Relations

Myanmar’s friendship with China directly affects how Nay Pyi Taw deals with its relations with Taiwan, a territory that Beijing views as its own but one that is currently governed by an administration that seeks to distance itself from the Mainland. Looking back at Taiwan, the presidential campaign was fiercely competitive and incumbent Tsai from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a thumping majority. Having been elected as the first female president in 2016 election, President Tsai is known for her China-sceptic position and her rejection of the 1992 Consensus, which is a critical agreement on the “One China” and “One Country, Two Systems”. During Tsai’s tenure, the China-Taiwan relationship has grown tense, with Beijing applying “big stick diplomacy” to isolate the island in many ways.

Myanmar is caught in a quandary as to how to deal with their diplomatic and business relations with Taiwan, in part because Nay Pyi Taw only officially recognizes the People’s Republic of China and not the Republic of China, Taiwan. “We are still at the very beginning stage of Myanmar-Taiwan relationship,” Nyo Ohn Myint, a former spokesperson for State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said through a phone interview. “Even though we don’t have a central level relationship with Taiwan, there is still a state level, in other words, a government-to-government-level business relationship going on.”

Nyo Ohn Myint also emphasised that Myanmar government has been strictly sticking to the “One China Policy”. He said that the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), which is a government-appointed body that appraises domestic investment in Myanmar may not allow Taiwanese business openly because of the diplomatic ties with China. Therefore, they only do business on a division government and state government level, but not the central government. 34

Bangladesh Myanmar Relations

Bangladesh has steadily been improving its defensive posture with Myanmar by firstly enhancing troops along the border with Myanmar and also fencing it. Further, it has now also fortified St Martin’s Island with Corsar Anti-Tank Missile Systems and high-speed gunboats sourced from UAE, manned by Border Guards Bangladesh. Two of these gunboats will be equipped with machine guns and deployed on the Naff River, which enters the Bay of Bengal at Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar. The enhanced threat perception w.r.t the St Martin’s Island seems driven by the possibility of the island being overrun by Rohingya refugees or being taken over by Myanmar authorities to police the Rohingyas. 35

Map showing St Martin’s Island in relation to Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Source: Adapted by author from © Myanmar Information Management Unit May 2016 Map.

China Myanmar Irrawaddy Economic Belt

A proposal to harness the Irrawaddy River for a strategic land and water transport route is underway. The route will commence in Kunming and run through Longchuan in Yunnan province to Bhamo in Kachin State, then to Yangon and the Indian Ocean. Developing the 2,161-km route from Kunming to Yangon could cost around 3.3 billion Chinese renminbi (700 billion kyats). The plan involves the transport of cargo from the Chinese border at Longchuan via the Zhangfeng/Lio Je customs gate to the northern trade hub at Bhamo by road or rail. From Bhamo, cargo and passengers could sail down the Irrawaddy to Mandalay, Yangon and the Indian Ocean. The Chinese think tank, China Kunming South Asia and South Asia International Logistics Research Institute (SSILR) wants to connect Shanghai, the world’s busiest port, to Kunming and then to divide into two routes: one to Shan State’s Muse via Ruili, and the other to Bhamo via Longchuan. It is being assessed that Beijing has possibly recognized the area as a key project for the development of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC). This route was touted as being more secure than the road projects and cheaper than the high-speed Muse-Mandalay railway, which would cost almost US$9 billion (13.3 trillion kyats). 36

Myanmar Economy

The prospects for the economy in Myanmar look upbeat as per media reports. Five sectors slated to do well this year are tourism, 37 real estate, insurance (having been liberalised last year38) digital economy (foreign banking licences were issued last year) and the stock markets. 3940 The Oxford Business Group Report Myanmar 2020 has also predicted a positive report on the Myanmar economy. Myanmar 2020 marks the culmination of 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group, is a global research and advisory company. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others. The country’s growth story over the last decade and forecasts put it among the fastest-growing economies in ASEAN in the coming years make it an exciting prospect for companies seeking long-term opportunities as per Oxford Business Group Editor-in-Chief Oliver Cornock. The report said that Myanmar’s inherent advantages, which include a dynamic internal market, an abundance of natural resources and a strategic location between China and India, meant it had plenty to offer the international business community. 41

The World Banks Myanmar Economic Report reveals that Myanmar’s economy continues to show resilience despite the global slowdown and domestic uncertainties. Myanmar climbed up the Doing Business ranking from 171/190 to 165/190, according to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report. However, Myanmar’s rapidly growing private sector is hampered by low productivity. Growth in 2019/2020 is expected to growth at 6.4 percent driven by robust domestic demand. Investment growth in transport and telecommunication will sustain, as government’s plan is on infrastructure spending in the lead up to the 2020 elections. 42 The economy grew steadily despite the tourism slowdown caused by the Rakhine State crisis and despite risks related to elections and possible sanctions. The year 2019 ended with a potentially game-changing agreement to develop an offshore gas field by MPRL E&P Co, Woodside Energy of Australia and French energy giant Total. Planned to come on-stream after 2024, it should boost gas availability and government revenue. 43

Myanmar Airspace Management

Over 600 aircraft use Myanmar airspace on a daily basis and this figure is expected to increase over the years. Each aircraft earns the nation a $100~600 depending on the size of the aircraft. 44 There are five carriers competing for a share of the domestic market: privately owned Air KBZ, GMA, Air Thanlwin and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (MYA), and state-owned Myanmar National Airlines (MNA), which also serves foreign destinations. Myanmar Airways International (MAI) operates internationally but has code-share agreements with Air KBZ, and both carriers are owned by KBZ Group. While MNA and MAI are battling for market leadership on international routes, domestically MNA and Air KBZ, with 17 and 10 aircraft, respectively, dominate the market. Aviation market intelligence platform CAPA said in a report last February that they account for more than half of the domestic market. There have been no fatal incidents in the industry since Christmas Day 2012, when an Air Bagan flight from Yangon crashed on landing in heavy fog at Heho airport and burst into flames, leaving a passenger and a motorcyclist dead. But in 2019, there have been four known civil aviation incidents, of which three involved Myanmar carriers. First, MYA and MAI would argue that they are the only Myanmar carriers to be evaluated under the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) programme. This is a voluntary – and expensive – safety audit conducted by IATA experts and includes visits to a carrier’s maintenance facilities.

A major problem in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian nations, according to an aviation industry source who asked not to be named, is the lack of reporting. The source explained that the non-punitive self-reporting of mishaps and safety breaches has become standard in developed economies and was one of the reasons for a sharp decline in aviation fatalities. However, the system of self-reporting is less prevalent in Myanmar and elsewhere in the region. Myanmar’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, a specialised department under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, tries to promote a “voluntary and non-punitive confidential aviation incident reporting system”, according to its webpage. The bureau has not publicly released any reports since the end of 2017, but some of those that were published contain worrying aspects. Overall, the poor reputation of domestic carriers in Myanmar may not be justified, with five of the six airlines scoring reasonably well with organisations that monitor international aviation safety. 45

Indian Engagement in Myanmar
Indian Film Festival

On 30 January 2020, the Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint received a delegation led by Indian Ambassador Mr Saurabh Kumar at his ministry in Nay Pyi Taw. During the meeting, they discussed matters related to bilateral cooperation between Myanmar and India on news media, Indian film festival to be held in Myanmar, the conditions of signing an MoU on media between Myanmar and India, and arrangement for meetings between the journalists of the two nations. 46

Visit by Manipur MLAs

In addition, four MLAs from Manipur visited Mandalay and were hosted in Pyin Oo Lwin on 31 January 2020. They were hosted by Union Ministry of Health and Sports and the Regional Shan Ethnic Affairs Minister was the Chief Guest.

Coronavirus

Myanmar faces its own challenges as it scrambles to stay coronavirus-free despite its more than 2,000 km, often porous border with China. Less than two weeks ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Myanmar, pushing an economic corridor project. On Jan. 20, the same day he said the coronavirus outbreak "must be taken seriously," Xi stopped in the Yunnan Province city of Kunming, at the Chinese edge of the envisioned corridor, and encouraged greater connectivity between the countries. Now, even the fruit and vegetable trade is stalled. "Fruit and vegetable traders and farmers should not send their goods to Muse," a border town in the eastern state of Shan, said Sai Myint Bo, the director of the local commodity exchange. Due to travel restrictions in China, "there are few Chinese buyers in the market," he told the Nikkei Asian Review. "A large number of trucks carrying fruit products of Myanmar are lined up here.” Muse is the largest land gateway for agricultural products between the countries and a key point on China's Belt and Road Initiative. Health officials are also introducing digital thermography to prevent intrusions across the border river. Myanmar's state newspaper reported on Tuesday that crossings to China, meanwhile, have declined significantly since there was confirmation of virus cases in Yunnan. 47 Even volunteers providing humanitarian assistance for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin State have appealed for donations of masks for some 40,000 civilians taking shelter on the Chinese border following the coronavirus outbreak in China. Volunteers have asked for mask donations on the Facebook page “Concern, Care and Contribute to the IDPs Now”. 48

Authorities in Myanmar turned back a China Southern flight from Guangzhou with almost everyone on board on 31 January 2020 after one of the passengers was found with flu symptoms similar to the fast-spreading coronavirus, a government spokesman said. The plane arrived in the commercial capital Yangon and the passenger, a Chinese national, was sent to a hospital in the city where he will be quarantined, said government spokesman Zaw Htay. 49 Presently, 60 Myanmar students are stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Hubei Province, as planned by the Myanmar government, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 50

Myanmar has also installed an infrared thermometer at the India-Myanmar border at Namphalong market. 51

Conclusion

January 2020 has set a blistering pace for events in Myanmar. This is likely to culminate in November when the country goes to polls. Coincidentally, even the USA will be going to polls on 3 November this year. Till then, a vast amount of events are likely to engulf the nation which will have a bearing on the poll. This promises to be a very busy year for Myanmar watchers.

Reference
  1. https://www.vifindia.org/article/2020/january/22/xi-hajoor-old-wine-in-the-new-era-for-myanmar
  2. For a diverse collection of media articles on Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar, see:
    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-01-10/Chinese-President-Xi-Jinping-to-visit-Myanmar-from-Jan-17-to-18-N8gUTawTqo/index.html
    https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/xi-seeks-to-boost-belt-and-road-with-myanmar-visit/
    https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/has-the-us-lost-myanmar-to-china/
    https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/chinas-belt-and-road-is-asia-getting-more-cautious/
    https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/what-does-xis-myanmar-visit-mean-for-indias-china-anxieties/
    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/view-why-india-needs-to-closely-monitor-the-situation-in-myanmar/articleshow/73618106.cms?from=mdr
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/01/article/the-myanmar-china-pact-is-a-setback-for-india/
    https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/world/politics-xi-jinpings-myanmar-visit-and-the-takeaways-for-india-4843211.html
    https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/myanmars-growing-dependence-on-china/article30627576.ece
    https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chinas-eye-on-myanmar-36570
    https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/more-to-china%E2%80%99s-outreach-than-meets-the-eye-27807
    https://www.delhipolicygroup.org/uploads_dpg/publication_file/china-rises-further-in-myanmar-1236.pdf
    https://www.delhipolicygroup.org/uploads_dpg/publication_file/china-and-myanmar-a-deepening-relationship-1237.pdf
    https://www.thetrumpet.com/21820-china-myanmar-ties-to-reshape-geopolitics-of-indian-ocean-region
    https://www.thetrumpet.com/21820-china-myanmar-ties-to-reshape-geopolitics-of-indian-ocean-region
    https://www.porttechnology.org/news/china-and-myanmar-to-build-new-deep-sea-port/
    http://m.thedailynewnation.com/news/243581/chinas-goal-to-see-a-weak--unstable-myanmar
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/guest-column/president-xi-jinpings-myanmar-excursion-a-historical-view.html
    https://www.arabnews.com/node/1615321
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/in-person/suu-kyi-economic-adviser-national-interest-must-come-first-when-deciding-large-chinese-investments-in-myanmar.html
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-china-sign-dozens-deals-bri-projects-cooperation-xis-visit.html
    https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/a-new-era-for-china-and-myanmar-but-old-constraints-still-hold
    https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/slim-pickings-for-xi-in-myanmar-visit
    https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/chinas-xi-visits-myanmar-to-drive-home-belt-and-road-plan
    https://www.bnionline.net/en/news/arakan-army-welcomes-chinese-presidents-visit-myanmar
    https://www.bnionline.net/en/news/china-views-myanmar-gateway-indian-ocean-concerns-remain
    http://www.navhindtimes.in/china-myanmar-stand-together-despite-rohingya-backlash/
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-china-insight/china-struggles-in-new-diplomatic-role-trying-to-return-rohingya-to-myanmar-idUSKBN1ZJ0SY
    https://www.cnbctv18.com/politics/beijings-new-back-door-to-the-indian-ocean-through-myanmar-underlines-limits-of-indias-regional-ambitions-5087981.htm
    https://theunionjournal.com/chinese-leader-xis-visit-to-myanmar-to-produce-new-belt-and-road-agreements/
    http://www.theweekendleader.com/Headlines/48868/myanmar-china-sign-dozens-of-agreements.html
    https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/china-myanmar-sign-dozens-infrastructure-deals
    https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/chinas-xi-visits-myanmar-infrastructure-talks
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/china-xi-turns-myanmar-push-belt-road-plan-200116235227905.html
    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/china-xi-historic-visit-myanmar-200116192154545.html
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/when-xi-met-suu-kyi-china-embraces-myanmar-as-western-nations-pull-back/2020/01/17/04dfc4b6-373c-11ea-a1ff-c48c1d59a4a1_story.html
    https://www.mmtimes.com/news/more-transparency-needed-china-deals-myanmar-officials-say.html
    https://www.mmtimes.com/news/china-myanmar-invest-power-project-kyaukphyu.html
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/busy-schedule-awaits-chinese-president-xi-2-day-visit-myanmar.html
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/xi-jinping-calls-concrete-planning-implementation-chinese-projects-ahead-myanmar-visit.html
    https://www.irrawaddy.com/specials/six-bri-projects-in-myanmar-to-monitor-during-chinese-president-xis-trip.html
    http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202001/14/WS5e1cf966a310128217270a0b.html
    https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/what-xi-wants-myanmar-may-not-be-what-he-gets
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-leaves-rivals-in-the-dust-with-influence-in-Myanmar
    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1176944.shtml
    http://www.mizzima.com/article/ports-trains-and-trade-xi-offer-myanmar-billion-dollar-bounty
    http://mizzima.com/article/myanmar-government-issues-statement-occasion-chinese-presidents-visit
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3046435/china-turns-myanmar-friendly-giant-neighbourhood
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3046656/can-xi-jinpings-visit-help-china-cash-myanmars-image-crisis
    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3047736/myanmar-warns-world-sanctions-over-rohingya-genocide-will
    https://www.eurasiareview.com/25012020-myanmar-in-chinas-embrace-analysis/
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/01/article/myanmar-a-perfect-fit-on-chinas-belt-and-road/
  3. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/16/c_138709568.htm
    https://nenow.in/neighbour/china/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-push-intensifies.html
  4. For articles on supply of arms to Myanmar from China, see the following links:
    http://mizzima.com/article/chinese-president-denies-supplying-arms-ethnic-armed-groups; https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/chinese-presidents-claim-beijing-not-arming-eaos-met-skepticism-myanmar.html;
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/01/article/chinas-loose-arms-still-fuel-myanmars-civil-wars/
    https://www.mmtimes.com/news/xi-says-china-never-sells-weapons-myanmar-armed-groups.html
  5. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-activists-refused-yangon-embassy-protest-xi-visit.html
  6. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-csos-urge-xi-jinping-to-terminate-myitsone-dam-project.html
  7. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/as-chinas-xi-visits-myanmar-ethnic-groups-rue-disrespectful-investment-2020-01-17
  8. https://theprint.in/diplomacy/india-cautions-myanmar-over-growing-chinese-influence-as-xi-jinping-concludes-visit/354263/
  9. https://www.icoe-myanmar.org/
  10. Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo is former Deputy Foreign Minister, presently Dean of Philippine Women’s University (PWU) School of International Relations and Diplomacy and Director of PWU’s center for gender equality, a Fellow and Lecturer of the National Defense College of the Philippines (DND); Professorial Lecturer of the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines (DFA), Lecturer and Professor in various leading universities in the Philippines. U Mya Theinn, former Director General of the Supreme Court. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima is a retired Japanese diplomat, with experience as Ambassador to Australia, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and the Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations. He also served at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as Senior Vice-President. Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet is the Chief Coordinator of UEHRD and visiting Professor at Universities of Yangon, British Columbia and Payap.
  11. https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/178/178-20200123-PRE-01-00-EN.pdf
  12. For ICJ related news, see the following links:
    https://www.newagebd.net/article/97752/a-case-of-myanmars-defiant-response-to-icj-ruling
    https://nenow.in/neighbour/myanmar/icj-ruling-on-rohingya-left-myanmar-red-faced.html
    https://thewire.in/law/icj-ruling-rohingya-myanmar-caa-refugees
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/24/rohingya-legal-protection-icj-ruling-myanmar
    https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/myanmars-military-justice-system
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51229796
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/world/asia/myanmar-rohingya-genocide.html
    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2020/1/29/justice-for-rohingya-requires-more-than-an-icj-ruling
  13. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/icj-gives-gambia-myanmar-just-six-months-prepare-pleadings-genocide-case.html
  14. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-armed-group-seizes-16-boat-passengers-buthidaung.html
  15. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/aa-releases-16-captive-govt-bus-drivers.html
  16. https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/aa-attacks-two-security-units-in-kyauktaw-army
  17. https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/army-warns-aa-not-to-take-hostages-and-drag-people-into-war
  18. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/arakan-army-seizes-ferry-12312019143635.html
  19. https://nenow.in/neighbour/myanmar/myanmar-chin-rebels-oppose-arakan-armys-paletwa-claim.html
  20. https://www.narinjara.com/news/detail/5e0db1fa049682041f925736
  21. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-military-denies-using-drones-attack-arakan-army-troops.html
  22. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/armed-gang-robs-myanmar-police-rakhine.html
  23. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/three-ethnic-armed-groups-extend-truce-through-february.html
  24. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/myanmar-ethnic-alliance-cease-fire-01022020164813.html
  25. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/arakan-army-releases-myanmar-mp-held-since-november.html
  26. https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/the-aa-must-release-mp-u-hawi-tin
  27. https://nenow.in/north-east-news/mizoram/zoramthanga-got-nld-mp-released.html
  28. https://www.bnionline.net/en/news/security-issues-hamper-progress-kaladan-transport-project-indian-ambassador
  29. https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Myanmar-s-ruling-party-escalates-constitutional-feud-with-military and http://mizzima.com/article/constitution-amendment-joint-committee-submits-two-bills
  30. https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/analysis/myanmar-military-rebuff-work-constitutional-amendment-committee.html
  31. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/us/politics/trump-travel-ban.html and https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/adding-myanmar-to-the-trump-travel-ban-would-be-a-mistake/
  32. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/magnitsky-sanctions-no-impact-tatmadaw-businesses-experts.html
  33. https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/japan-and-myanmars-toxic-friendship/ and https://www.mmtimes.com/news/why-myanmar-important-japan.html
    https://www.globalnewlightofmyanmar.com/japanese-companies-pour-massive-investment-into-myanmar/
  34. http://www.mizzima.com/article/myanmar-taiwan-relations-and-china-factor
  35. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/asia/bangladesh-fortifies-island-near-myanmar-heavy-weapons-gunboats.html
  36. https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/analysis/china-quietly-pushing-myanmar-back-development-plan-irrawaddy-river.html
  37. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-28/myanmar-expects-5-million-tourists-in-2020-despite-virus-fears
  38. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/top-10-events-shaped-myanmars-economy-2019.html
  39. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/five-sectors-myanmar-watch-year.html
  40. https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/myanmar-pe-economy-165293/
  41. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/good-prospects-myanmar-long-term-investors-oxford-business-group-report.html
  42. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/myanmar/publication/myanmar-economic-monitor-december-2019-resilience-amidst-risk
  43. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/2019-economic-reforms-continue-under-shadow-genocide-trial.html
  44. https://www.mmtimes.com/news/tatmadaw-aviation-department-discuss-security-landing-issues.html
  45. https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/how-safe-are-myanmars-airlines
  46. https://www.globalnewlightofmyanmar.com/union-information-minister-receives-indian-ambassador/
  47. https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Coronavirus-fears-haunt-Vietnam-and-Myanmar-border-towns
  48. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/kachin-ngos-ask-mask-donations-idps-near-china-myanmar-border.html
  49. https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1847909/myanmar-turns-back-guangzhou-flight
  50. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/china-nixes-myanmars-plan-evacuate-60-students-virus-hit-wuhan.html
  51. https://www.news18.com/news/india/myanmar-installs-coronavirus-screening-device-at-border-with-india-official-2475953.html

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