Founded in 2005, Asia Centre is an independent research institute that holds debates and issues publications on matters relating to international, strategic, economic relations, as well as the political and social transformations underway in the Asia-Pacific region. At the crossroads of university research as well as public and private decision-making, Asia Centre researchers identify critical regional issues and analyse them in-depth, taking into consideration both local and global dimensions.
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Horizon Europe is the European Commission framework programme for research and innovation, succeeding Horizon 2020. The consortium implementing the project “Dealing with a resurgent China” starts its work in November 2022.
Hadrien T. Saperstein, researcher for Asia Centre, specialising in maritime strategic thought and strategic foresight analysis for the Indo-Pacific region, is analysing in the following article published by The Geopolitics
Ten years after the transition to democracy started, the country is facing a huge setback with the Tatmadaw rounding up elected political leaders including Aung San Suu-Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) senior members, and declaring a state of emergency hence putting an end to the civilian government.
What’s next – popular demonstrations, violent crackdowns, international sanctions, disinvestment – like we saw in the 1990s and 2000s?
The military’s motivations to take such steps are difficult to fully grasp – breakdown in trust and communication with the NLD that just got reelected with overwhelming popular support in the November 2020 elections; frustration with the situation in Rakhine State and NLD approach to the challenges; conclusion the 2008 constitution would not work out as the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) was not being convened by the NLD government; personal ambitions as Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing was supposed to retire, etc.
In any case, consequences will be dire. This is a different world from 1989 with globalization, social media, COVID-19, new US administration, China’s infrastructure ambitions, etc. Backlash against the Tatmadaw will be intense.
I wonder how the Japanese government and private sector will respond – tricky path to navigate ahead.