Rising Myanmar: US involvement, power rivalry and new hopes for Bangladesh

Abstract

President Obama’s symbolic and landmark visit to Myanmar bolsters the U.S. policy shift in Asia; an extremely significant step to firm up his Asia-Pacific policy, often described as a “pivot” to the re-gion. Analysts have termed this visit a perfect fit in the larger geopolitical chess game by the Obama administration, which has sought to counter rising Chinese assertiveness by engaging its neighbours. With the transfer of power from an authoritarian government to a civilian one in March 2011, My-anmar embarked on a slow political liberalization. As Myanmar emerges from decades of isolation it generates much hope for the global and regional communities. Being the only other neighbour of Bangladesh besides India, Myanmar can usher new hope and possibilities for Bangladesh since both countries have outstanding issues. This article briefly tries to assess the underlying setting of the U.S. policy shift in greater Southeast Asia and particularly in Myanmar, the significance of this visit, how the other contenders of influence eye this increasing U.S. involvement, and finally the benefits it may yield for its neighbours, especially Bangladesh

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