Dr. Miemie Winn Byrd has a new article in the Journal for Indo-Pacific Affairs titled: “Myanmar’s U-turn: Implications of the Military Coup on Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific. ” The article discusses the current crisis in Myanmar and China’s response to it.

According to the author, China views Myanmar as an important land bridge to the Indian Ocean and alternative to the Malacca Strait. Direct access to the Indian Ocean would give China an enormous commercial and geopolitical advantage over its competitors.

In addition, as the last remaining democracy on mainland Southeast Asia, Myanmar is the front line for democracy in the Indo-Pacific.

How the battle for control between the military junta and the pro-democracy protesters plays out will impact the strategic competition between China and the US states Dr. Byrd and could send shockwaves throughout the region.

Dr. Miemie Byrd is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.  The views expressed in this article are her own and do not reflect those of DKI APCSS, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.