A Surge of Facts about Burma – Blake Hounshell

From Foreign Policy:

…In general, it’s true that the Chinese aren’t so keen on letting human rights get in the way of ye olde national interest. But at least when it comes to official trade (the black market may be a different story), it’s just not true that China is Burma’s closest trading partner. , not China, is the number one destination for Burmese exports, according to the CIA World Factbook:

Exports – partners: Thailand 49%, India 12.8%, China 5.3%, Japan 5.2% (2006)

Thailand generates 20 percent of its electricity using Burmese natural gas, and the Thais are expanding their use of Burmese hydroelectric power. (Read all about it in today’s List: Burma’s Economic Lifelines.) But nobody seems to be focusing on the Thais for enabling the junta, instead wringing their hands about China’s mythical all-powerful influence. Which is not to say that Thailand can influence Burma’s xenophobic, paranoid rulers either. [Full Text]



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