Journal of Cold War Studies, Fall 2014

"This book, a breathtakingly panoramic analysis of Sino-Burmese relations from 1949 to the present, demonstrates that this traditionally neutralist Southeast Asian country occupied a more significant role in Beijing’s Cold War strategy than one would assume from the standard monographs on China’s policy in Asia, focused as they are on the battlefields of Korea and Indochina.

"This book, a breathtakingly panoramic analysis of Sino-Burmese relations from 1949 to the present, demonstrates that this traditionally neutralist Southeast Asian country occupied a more significant role in Beijing’s Cold War strategy than one would assume from the standard monographs on China’s policy in Asia, focused as they are on the battlefields of Korea and Indochina.

(…) The two authors of this book who endeavored to challenge these views by marshaling solid factual evidence are exceptionally well qualified to do so. Fan Hongwei of Xiamen University, an expert on modern Sino-Burmese relations, unearthed an impressive amount of hitherto untapped Chinese archival and oral history sources to investigate China’s policy toward Burma in the Cold War era (1949–1988). David I. Steinberg of Georgetown University, a distinguished specialist on Burmese politics and economy with previous experience in the field of Chinese studies, analyzed the post-1988 evolution of the China-Myanmar partnership, paying particular attention to economic and strategic relations.

(…) All in all, this book is a uniquely comprehensive monograph on post–1949 Sino- Burmese political, security, and economic relations. […] its skillful use of Chinese archival documents and oral history sources enabled its authors to gain unprecedented insight into certain disputed events, though more from a Chinese than a Burmese perspective."

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