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China's energy strategy advances in Myanmar

MYANMAR's (Burma) planned elections later this year are unlikely to lead to an easing of Western economic sanctions. But its energy sector will continue to expand, driven by Asian investment, writes Ian Lewis

Most of the momentum is coming from China, whose state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has begun building twin, 800 km oil and gas export pipelines. The elections, whose scope remains unclear, are regarded by opposition groups as an effort by the military government – which has been in power for five decades – to extend its powers. If that turns out to be the case, sanctions that have severely reduced Western investment will continue, leaving the door open to Myanmar's Asian neighbours. Countries such as Thailand, China, South Korea and India have no restrictions on doing business with the country, with many of their political leaders saying engagement with the junta

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