Myanmar: Time for a Unified Approach

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Guan, Ang Cheng (2001) Myanmar: Time for a Unified Approach , Security Dialogue 32(4): 467–480.

There is general agreement that the international community should play a constructive and catalytic role in reinforcing the process of dialogue in Myanmar. But, in order to play a constructive role, the international community should focus on shared concerns, reconcile different positions and work towards a coordinated carrot-and-stick strategy. The policy of isolating and sanctioning Myanmar has inadvertently strengthened Myanmar–Chinese relations to such a degree that some regional countries are having second thoughts about the policy. Adopting one approach alone is not effective. Nor is the reconciliation process helped by assuming that taking a softer stance with Myanmar could deter Yangon from getting closer to China. The challenge faced by the international community is how to prevail upon Myanmar to adopt democratic norms without shattering the territorial integrity of the country and destabilizing the region.