Uniquely comprehensive


from Press News, posted 02/05/2015 - 13:14

A review of Modern China-Myanmar Relations by David I. Steinberg and Hongwei Fan has just been received. Appearing in the Fall 2014 issue of the Journal of Cold War Studies, Balázs Szalontai of Kwangwoon University writes:

This book, a breathtakingly panoramic analysis of Sino-Burmese relations from 1949 to the present, demonstrates that this traditionally neutralist Southeast Asian country occupied a more significant role in Beijing’s Cold War strategy than one would assume from the standard monographs on China’s policy in Asia, focused as they are on the battlefields of Korea and Indochina.

The strategic importance of Burma/Myanmar is nowhere more apparent than in this map from a recent NIAS publication.

Balázs Szalontai concludes:

All in all, this book is a uniquely comprehensive monograph on post–1949 Sino-Burmese political, security, and economic relations. … Steinberg and Fan masterfully integrate the history of the Sino-Burmese partnership into the larger context of Cold War politics and by doing so illuminate the Cold War from a novel angle. Furthermore, the observations they make on various aspects of recent Chinese-Myanmar cooperation—such as the nationalist Burmese leadership’s unwillingness to become too subordinated to its colossal neighbor—offer valuable lessons for specialists of Sino–North Korean relations too.

This very positive review is not the first we have received for the book but its positive judgement is in line with the others. Not for nothing did Robert H. Taylor write in 2013 “Modern China-Myanmar Relations will be an essential reference work for years to come.”


 

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