Guest lecture

The New Era of Sino-Burmese Relations: Changes in the Bilateral Relationshop in View of China's rise and Myanmar's reforms


26. 2. 2020 10:00


Trainee centre 3.40, Vodární 6, Olomouc


In this lecture you will learn about how Myanmar’s relationship with China has evolved from Myanmar (before 1989 Burma) being aligned with China; through Myanmar hedging on the side of the United States; to Myanmar employing a double-hedging strategy with two great powers.

In 1949, Burma was the first non-Communist country to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Since then, the relationship between Burma and China remained nervously friendly, and finally warmed in 1988. Due to isolation and economic sanctions Burma moved closer to China, the two authoritarian states becoming close allies. Subsequent concerns over Beijing’s influence directly affected the junta’s decision to pursue reform and open up the country. The following rapid expansion of Myanmar’s diplomatic profile has complicated its relations with China. Myanmar has sought to diversify its foreign relations, but the country’s human rights record has hindered this effort. China with its non-interference principle and the Belt and Road Initiative has managed to win Myanmar back, at least partially.


Kristina Kironska is a socially engaged academic with experience in Myanmar affairs, Taiwan Affairs, and China-CEE relations. She studied IR in Slovakia, Portugal and Taiwan. In 2015-2016, she worked for a local NGO in Yangon and conducted research on the Burmese political transition and the Rohingya issue. In 2017-2018, she worked for Amnesty International as a campaigner. In 2019-2020, she was awarded the Taiwan Fellowship program, lectured at the University of Taipei, and organized monthly human rights talks. She is also a Research Fellow at the Central European Institute of Asian Studies.