Myanmar Assumes ASEAN Chairmanship at Critical Time for Domestic Reforms

Myanmar took on the chairmanship of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Jan. 1, assuming this high-profile role at an important time for the regional bloc. Its ambitious integration program is gathering steam, though political turmoil—particularly in Thailand—and internal divisions over how to deal with China’s economic influence present formidable challenges to the group’s cohesion. Not surprisingly, then, the theme of Myanmar’s chairmanship is “moving forward in unity toward a peaceful and prosperous community.” But Myanmar’s chairmanship also comes at a critical time for the country itself, having only recently emerged from international isolation. Domestically, much attention […]

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