The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies’ Professor Dr. Mohan Malik recently published an article entitled “Myanmar’s Role in China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative” in the Journal of Contemporary China. 

This article traces the origins and theoretical underpinnings of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) back to the mid-1980s, that is, almost three decades before the official media unveiled the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI). It examines the changing role of Myanmar in China’s grand strategy in general and in MSRI in particular by undertaking an investigation of trade and investment relations. Both the extent and the limits of MSRI are illustrated in Myanmar. It ends with a discussion of possible roadblocks, detours, cracks and fault lines along the Maritime Silk Road. The article argues “To be successful, OBOR may well need ‘an order based on rules’ (OBOR). It is worth remembering that no single country built the old Silk Road in the past. No one country can build it alone again. Its size, contours and dimensions will be determined by the laws of supply and demand. As in the past, there will be not one but several roads.”

To read the full article online, go to

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


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