Myanmar’s Relations with Russia and China: Convenience or Co-optation?


About the Webinar

When the Myanmar military seized power in February 2021, Russia and China were not among the voices expressing concern about the military coup. China referred to the takeover as “major cabinet reshuffle”, but remained pragmatic (and cautious) in its approach to engaging with the State Administration Council (SAC) regime, especially towards the SAC leader. Russia visibly lent its support, mainly via defence and military-to-military ties and echoed the Myanmar military’s rhetoric. The SAC has made much of Moscow’s support, while relations with Beijing seem to have deteriorated after Operation 1027 in northern Shan State in late October 2023. The change in Myanmar’s conflict dynamics after Operation 1027, and the rise of cybercrime in Myanmar have affected China’s attitude and interests towards the ongoing Myanmar crisis.

ISEAS Myanmar Studies Programme invites two expert analysts of Russia’s and China’s relations with Myanmar to provide their assessment on the outlook for the political-security and economic implications of Naypyidaw’s relations with Moscow and Beijing.

About the Speakers

Dr Ian Storey is Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, and co-editor of an ISEAS flagship journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. Ian specializes in regional security issues with a focus on Southeast Asia’s relations with the major powers and maritime security, especially the South China Sea dispute. He is currently completing Putin’s Russia and Southeast Asia: The Kremlin’s ‘Turn to the East’ and the Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War.

Yun Sun is a Senior Fellow, Co-Director of the East Asia Program, and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center. She leads the Stimson Center’s Myanmar project. She has worked on China’s national security decision-making processes, and on China’s foreign policy, for her research.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Apr 16 2024


9:00 am - 10:30 am

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