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Myanmar rebrands itself to woo more tourists

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On 2/16/2019 at 5:31 PM, cooked said:

WHAT <deleted> genocide? You mean the one Western powers after the oil, or Islamic states, after the oil, tell you about, or the stated aim of ARSA in 2017, to kill all non-Muslims? Islamic state in Myanmar, later to become a part of Bangladesh... ? Or maybe you mean the genocide in 1942 when the Ros killed 30 000 non-Muslims and drove another 50 000 to the South, leaving the coast clear for these guys to just walk over an unguarded frontier for the last 70 years? Myanmar is giving up on the West and turning more and more towards China, they don't care, great move by the West and the EU.  

Absolutely 100% spot on.


I find the hypocrisy of some people nauseating. I mean, if we really wanted to boycott countries based on their human rights records and such things as invasions of other countries, then the USA would be right at the top of the list. But alas I don't recall ever seeing a "boycott the USA because of it's foreign policy" campaign.


I also think it's dangerous for Myanmar to engage China too much but for different reasons, mainly based on sovereignty and debt (although in many ways, they engaged China more than now during the long years of sanctions because back then they had very few allies).


If Myanmar doesn't play its cards right they could become another economic colony of China like Cambodia is increasingly becoming. For now, Myanmar is more or less wary of China and not allowing them too much leverage, which is why you don't see whole cities being taken over like is happening down in Sihanoukville, which is currently undergoing a metamorphosis from a sleepy Cambodian seaside resort to a booming Chinese casino town. The locals and few remaining non-Chinese expats are fleeing. Myanmar has always had ethnic Chinese enclaves up along it's frontier with China, so that's a different thing.


However, I'm worried about projects like the Yatai group one, which plans an "international city" full of high-rise buildings, casinos, villas (actually more likely just 30-40 storey apartment complexes, like in China) and an international airport to be built just north of Myawaddy, Kayin State wedged right up against the Thai border. I can tell that this group actually wanted to build this project in Thailand but the Thai government is obviously not keen on allowing a Chinese enclave to be built within it's territory so the next best thing is to build as close as possible to Thailand without actually being inside the country. Apparently there are plans to move 400,000 Chinese to the area once the project is complete. I find this insane and don't understand the rationale - is this the SE Asian version of multiculturalism? Whereby in this case, Chinese are used to "diversify" it's neighbors? Can't think of any other rational explanation - it's not as if there isn't enough space for Chinese in China. Xinjiang is mostly empty, they only have a population of 10 million. Also never heard of a large group of people from a country NOT at war being moved to another country for no good reason - imagine if 400,000 Americans or Frenchmen or Germans etc. were moved to a newly built city like this in Myanmar, or Thailand or China?! Ha! Should this project come to fruition, it will signal the beginning of the end of Burmese sovereignty.


However, it's unclear if all of this is due to the west playing politics with Myanmar or not. China is investing everywhere (including in some absolutely far fetched and ridiculous mega projects that make no sense whatsoever) and despite the EU/US sanctions on Cambodia, westerners are still visiting there in large numbers (especially Siem Reap) BUT they are being chased out of Sihanoukville, because let's face it, westerners aren't keen on visiting Cambodia and ending up in China.

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I'm pretty sure that the fact that both the EU and the US have taken a step back from demanding a total boycott of Myanmar is due to it becoming increasingly obvious that China is ready to jump in there at a moment's notice. The Rakhine has even more  resources of oil, gas and minerals than was previously thought (that is to say before the Chinese signed that pipeline contract in 2011). 

I'm also sure that Myanmar is aware of the dangers and potential opportunities.

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