Burma-U.S. Relations [Updated March 2, 2008]   [open pdf - 216KB]

From the Document: "In February 2008, the Burmese government (SPDC) announced that the drafting of a new constitution was completed, that a referendum on it would be held in May 2008 and elections under it in 2010. […] By October 2007, the SPDC had suppressed with force anti-regime protests that began in late August, escalated in mid-September, and were led by Buddhist monks and pro-democracy activists. According to human rights reports by the U.S. State Department and private organizations, Burma's poor record worsened in 2004, 2005, and 2006. These reports laid out a familiar pattern of government and military abuses of civilians. The SPDC appears unaffected by sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations. Western sanctions are uneven with U.S. sanctions being the heaviest. […] Burma's fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have grown more critical of the SPDC, but they continue to oppose sanctions. Chinese diplomatic support of the SPDC and military and economic aid is very important: $2 billion in military aid since the early 1990s, $200 million annually in economic aid, substantial foreign investment including new investment in natural gas, and a huge influx of Chinese migrants into Burma, mainly traders. China's role is a prime justification for India's 'constructive engagement' policy toward Burma, although India suspended arms sales after the September 2007 uprising. Burma has reestablished diplomatic relations with North Korea amidst reports of growing military cooperation between them."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33479
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