In Perspective: Obama's Historic Trip to Myanmar Raises Questions about Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

Originally published in the Daily Bruin

By CAROLINE CHAMBERLAIN

Obama’s six hour visit reflects not only the acknowledgement that the country has made progress in the area of human rights, but also a shifting U.S. foreign policy that is more concerned with China’s influence in the region that the President signalled last year with the deployment of 2,500 troops to Australia. In recent years, Myanmar has eased many of its harshest restrictions on its population and released hundreds of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. Professor of Southeast Asian history Geoffrey Robinson discusses the country’s introduction of liberal reforms, the ethnic tensions that remain that makes this progress tenuous, and the larger historical narrative relevant to Myanmar’s current status.

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012