The People’s Republic of China and Burma: Not Only Pauk -Phaw

Introduction: Pauk-Phaw and its Evolution

Pauk-Phaw was a term coined in the 1950s to describe the supposedly friendly and close relationship between China and Burma. It may be translated as “fraternal” but, according to Burma expert David Steinberg, it “has a closer Chinese connotation of siblings from the same womb [and] was used uniquely for Burma.”A memorial to honor the Pauk-Phaw relationship was erected in Mangshi in China’s Yunnan province in 1956 and the term was invoked as recently as September 2010, when Burmese junta leader General (Gen.) Than Shwe paid an official visit to China.

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