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Myanmar army soldiers patrol on a road in Kokang, northeastern Shan State, more than 500 miles northeast of Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 17, 2015 (AP Photo/Eleven Media Group).

Spoilers and Partners: India, China and Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Since taking office in 2011 after decades of iron-fisted military rule, Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government has faced the challenge of opening up a country long closed to the outside world and delivering on the promise of domestic reform. But it faces major security obstacles, too, in the long-running ethnic rebellions on its borders with India and China, one of which escalated last month in clashes that killed more than 50 Myanmarese troops and 70 Kokang rebels in northern Myanmar.

The Kokang and other ethnic rebels have fought for greater autonomy, federalism or control over natural resources in their corners of Myanmar for decades. Though the grievances driving these rebellions are largely domestic, Myanmar’s defense ties with both India and China have had major implications in the conflicts. ...

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