Will Myanmar Elections Disrupt Chinese Investments?

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An article in the online site China Dialogue, which focuses on environmental news out of China, highlights that country’s massive investments in Myanmar, where elections this past weekend brought long time political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.

The bulk of the investments are tied up in an on-again off-again dam project along Maynamr’s Irawaddy River. At a cost of around $25 billion, the project represents China’s largest overseas hydropower investment to date, and is expected to provide the Southeast Asian nation with much-needed free electricity and “dividends worth US$54 billion. That’s more than Myanmar’s entire GDP for 2010…”

It’s a lot of money, but apparently not enough to counter the “nationalist sentiment [that] is on the rise in this traumatised country,” a force auguring foreboding signals to a Beijing anxious about U.S. designs in the region and a Chinese population wondering at the political constraints imposed by their own leaders.