Asian Review

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Historically Thailand has viewed Burma/Myanmar as the "national enemy." Until the end of the Cold War, the main stakeholders of Thai foreign policy towards Burma were the security agencies which viewed Burma in this light. Yet on the ground, the long border developed a vibrant economy. Policy was reoriented in the late 1980s. The Burmese government wanted better relations with Thailand in order to deal with political threats, spur its economy, and solidify relations with ASEAN. In Thailand, business-based politicians took power and became new stakeholders in making foreign policy. Under policies initiated in the Chatichai era and upheld by every government since, Myanmar has developed as an export market for Thai goods, a location for Thai investment, and as a plentiful source of energy and natural resources needed for Thai development.



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