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Deja vu in myanmar
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  1. 1. Myanmar The Struggles for Legitimacy မြန်ြာ
  2. 2. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား
  3. 3. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား Research Question How do Myanmar’s competing governments use foreign policy to bolster their own legitimacy?
  4. 4. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား Hypotheses 1 Myanmar's National Unity Government employs an outward facing strategy to achieve legitimacy from western states and international organizations. 2 Myanmar's military junta employs an inward facing strategy to achieve legitimacy from the majority of the country's population.
  5. 5. Definition of Legitimacy ● Regime legitimacy can be obtained from two levels: one is from the domestic level, another is from the international level ● In terms of the domestic level, there are three specific ways to get legitimacy for a regime: 1. Democratic Institution: free elections (such as the US) 2. Economic Prosperity: enrich the people (such as China after the 1978 economic reform) 3. State Capacity: maintain social stability by imposing functional state violence on the opposition (such as China, Iran, and the military junta in Myanmar) ● In terms of the international level: 1. Recognition by the majority of the international community (such as Qing dynasty during 20th century)
  6. 6. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား 1962 Coup • General Ne Win • 50 years of military control
  7. 7. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား 8888 Uprising
  8. 8. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား 2008 Constitution Guarantees: • Permanent minimum of 25% of parliamentary representation to the military • At least 75% approval of any changes to the constitution • No individual with a foreign spouse and/or children can become president • Rights not fully guaranteed to ethnic minorities
  9. 9. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား 2015: Democratic Experiment •NLD wins majority •Suu Kyi becomes “State Counselor” •Questions about democracy
  10. 10. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား 2021 Coup • Claims of Fraud • Suu Kyi placed under house arrest
  11. 11. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား National Unity Government • Founded by democratically elected legislators • May 2021: People’s Defense Force • September 2021: NUG announces insurgency against Tatmadaw
  12. 12. Aung San Suu Kyi 1988
  13. 13. NLD: Seeking legitimacy for its rule Party Leader international fame and influence Aung San Suu Kyi: Daughter of National father /nationalism Oxford Graduate /an honorary degree Nobel laureate with over 130 medals A beacon for human rights/democracy icon Party platform The party advocates a non-violent movement towards multi-party democracy ; The party also claims to support human rights (including broad-based freedom of speech), the rule of law, and national reconciliation
  14. 14. NDL: Foreign Policy Statements To follow an independent foreign policy and stay neutral.. To identify and cooperate with other countries on joint economic enterprises of mutual benefit.(maintaining friendly relations with countries all over the world) To have close and strong relations with the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other such organizations. Essence: Becoming more independent and active on the international stage.
  15. 15. NLD: National Unity Government (NUG) a government-in-hiding The NUG’s cabinet line-up is manifestly and consciously diverse.It includes representatives of the National League for Democracy,ethnic minority insurgent groups, and various minor parties. Union Values: 1. Democracy Rights, Gender Equality and basic Human Rights; 2. Equality and Self-Determination; 3. Collective Leadership; 4. Diversity, Social Harmony, Solidarity and Non-Discrimination; and 5. Protection of Minority Rights. Conclusion:In order to gain recognition from western nations and international organizations, Myanmar's National Unity Government pursues an outward-looking approach.
  16. 16. Myint Swe Government Violent Suppression of Pro-democratic Movements Institutional Corruption Human Rights Violations
  17. 17. Western Sanctions and Isolation On February 10, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14014 “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma” (“Burmese parties. EO 14014”), which provides for the imposition of sanctions on certain
  18. 18. Failed Regim e Domestically ●Falling Economy ●Anti-junta Protests ●Armed Resistance Internationally ●Western Sanctions ●International Nonrecognition
  19. 19. How to get Legitimacy ? To Domestic Audience ●Economic Development? ●Stronger State Capacity? To International Audience ●Partnership Seeking
  20. 20. Inward Strategy By establishing partnerships with other countries based on mutual interests, the junta regime can receive sufficient foreign aid, which can be used to develop the domestic economy, obtain more revenue and help to strengthen the junta’s state capacity to maintain social stability, thus gaining legitimacy among its domestic audience.
  21. 21. Engagement with China
  22. 22. China: Why Cooperate ? Economic Interests: huge investment Geopolitical Interests: access to the India ocean Border Security: shared border and mass migrants Regional Hegemony: balance the West
  23. 23. Domestic ally What did China offer? Foreign Aid: money or materials Infrastructure Construction Belt and Road: investment (LNG project) Military Weapon: fighter jets
  24. 24. Internationally What did China offer? Even though the partnership with China failed to let the military junta obtain Myanmar’s official representative in the United Nations, it did help to loosen the Western blockade of the junta regime on the international stage.
  25. 25. Engagemen t with Russia
  26. 26. Russia: Why Cooperate ? Geopolitical Interests: expand its sphere of influence into Southeast Asia Power Struggle: balance the West Financial Interests: arms sales
  27. 27. What did Russia offer? Arms Supplies Natural Resources Defence Cooperation Political Support: shield Myanmar from the wrath of the international community
  28. 28. Conclusion Partnership with China benefits the military junta mainly in economic development, while Russia helps the military junta in the military field. Therefore, China’s aid to the military junta helped develop Myanmar’s economy, and Russia‘s military support directly helped the regime to strengthen its state capacity, thus assisting it to obtain legitimacy from its domestic audience.
  29. 29. Critique of the Strategy ●The military junta’s partnerships with China and Russia have an asymmetrical feature, which undermines the flexibility and autonomy of Myanmar’s foreign policy-making. ●Fail to gain spiritual acceptance from its domestic audience (the only way to solve the legitimacy problem fundamentally).
  30. 30. Future Implications Russia: the Ukraine War China: Economic Recession
  31. 31. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား Hypotheses 1 Myanmar's National Unity Government employs an outward facing strategy to achieve legitimacy from western states and international organizations. 2 Myanmar's military junta employs an inward facing strategy to achieve legitimacy from the majority of the country's population.
  32. 32. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား
  33. 33. တရာားဝင်ြှုအတွက် ရုန်ားကန်ြှုြ ာား James, Helen. "Myanmar's international relations strategy: the search for security." Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs 26.3 (2004): 530-553. John Liu and Rory Wallace, “Myanmar’s parallel government grapples with foreign investment dilemma”, Nikkei Asia, 26 May2021( Crisis/Myanmar-s-parallel-government-grapples-with- foreign-investment-dilemma) Shang, P. P. (2022). Myanmar’s Foreign Policy: Shifting Legitimacy, Shifting Strategic Culture. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 41(1), 88–105. Thida, Hnin Mya. "People’s Perception of the Role of Foreign Power in Myanmar: A Case Study of the 2021 Military Coup." FOREIGN POLICY REVIEW 14.3 (2021): 127-140. Thuzar, Moe, and Htet Myet Min Tun. “Myanmar's National Unity Government: A Radical Arrangement to Counteract the Coup.” ISEAS, vol. 8, no. 2022, 28 Jan. 2022. Mendelson, Allegra. “Myanmar’s military turns to Buddhism in bid for legitimacy” Al Jazeera, 30 Jan 2022. Trying to Legitimize Myanmar’s Regime Can Only Backfire for China ( By THE IRRAWADDY on 7 June 2021 Myoe, M. A. (2017). The NLD and Myanmar’s Foreign Policy: Not New, but Different. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 36(1), 89–121. https://doi- Sources