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Kyaukpyu: Connecting China to the Indian Ocean

Chinese state-owned firms have reached agreements with Myanmar to construct a $7.3 billion deep-water port and $2.7 billion industrial area in a special economic zone at Kyaukpyu along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The strategic town is the terminus of a $1.5 billion oil pipeline and parallel natural gas pipeline running to Kunming in China’s Yunnan Province. Despite fears that the project could eventually be used for Chinese military access, political and legal restrictions in Myanmar make this unlikely. The project is aimed mainly at helping China avoid the vulnerable Strait of Malacca and aid the development of its southwestern hinterland. Like many major projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, there are well-founded fears that the project could grant China a dangerous level of economic leverage over Myanmar, especially if the government in Naypyidaw is forced to turn to Chinese loans to fund its share of the port and SEZ, which combined could amount to 5 percent of national GDP.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Archived web content
Language of document
  • English
Topics Special economic zones
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • China
  • Myanmar
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

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Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified
Author (individual) Gregory B. Poling
Publisher CSIS
Publication date 2018
Keywords sez
Date uploaded July 12, 2019, 03:11 (UTC)
Date modified August 15, 2019, 04:01 (UTC)