27 August 2017   Leave a comment

Long-standing violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine Province in Myanmar has led to massive evacuations.  Many in Myanmar, which has primarily a Buddhist populations, regard the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, but the hostility stems from a deep anti-Muslim feeling as well.  The tension between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar has led to the organization of loosely-formed militias on each side, and the violence between them has gradually increased to open conflict.  The flow of refugees is straining resources in neighboring Bangladesh. 

Vietnam and China have a very tense relationship.  They share memories of several wars that go back centuries and Vietnam suffers from a common malady that many small nations have when they have a large, dynamic neighbor.  Despite the memory of a long and brutal war with the US, the Vietnamese chose to get closer to the US in hopes that American military power could act as an effective counterweight to Chinese power.  But the US has given clear signals that it may no longer wish to act as a balancer in the region, and the Vietnamese are wondering whether they need to seek an accommodation with China–a difficult and complex policy given the interests of both states in the oil and natural gas reserves in the disputed South China Sea.

Posted August 27, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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