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Where China Meets India: Burma and the New…
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Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia (Original 2011; 2011. Auflage)

von Thant Myint-U (Autor)

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1055200,065 (4.21)13
"An account of the Asian frontier's long and rich history and its modern significance."--Publisher's description.
Mitglied:gaborbasch
Titel:Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia
Autoren:Thant Myint-U (Autor)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), Edition: First Edition, 384 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia von Thant Myint-U (2011)

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One of those rare books which you regret finishing... you want more! The author comes across as a wise, utterly civilized, informed, enlightened soul with deep insights and a wide intellectual and emotional canvas. A bonus for Indians is his foray into the Indian Northeast, and his appeciation of the contributions to Southeast Asia from the Indian civilizational world. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | May 20, 2020 |
The book's title should have read "Where China collides with Burma". A country not known for preservation of any kind. Having wiped out most of their cultural and architectural heritage during the cultural revolution and in this mad rush towards the 21st century, and having eaten through pretty much all of its fauna, It is the repeat of this same story for it's much poorer neighbor. Mercilessly cutting down it's forests and decimating it's wildlife. This is certainly not responsible behavior but a kind of rapaciousness that would put even the meanest pirates and poachers to shame.

In the later chapters that are focused on India, the spotlight is on the seven states of the northeast. The author has taken the trouble to to pen in short histories of the various kingdoms that have dotted this region.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
The book's title should have read "Where China collides with Burma". A country not known for preservation of any kind. Having wiped out most of their cultural and architectural heritage during the cultural revolution and in this mad rush towards the 21st century, and having eaten through pretty much all of its fauna, It is the repeat of this same story for it's much poorer neighbor. Mercilessly cutting down it's forests and decimating it's wildlife. This is certainly not responsible behavior but a kind of rapaciousness that would put even the meanest pirates and poachers to shame.

In the later chapters that are focused on India, the spotlight is on the seven states of the northeast. The author has taken the trouble to to pen in short histories of the various kingdoms that have dotted this region.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
There is surprisingly little about both Burma and the supposed meeting of India and China in this book. This is not an introduction to the country but more a stream of consciousness account of a new great game between China and India.

The interest in Burma is much greater from the Chinese side. India doesn't seem to particularly care and has enough poor parts of its own to care for. China's interest in Burma seems triggered more in securing transportation access from the Indian ocean to Yunnan and the ability to exploit Burmese resources than to improve the lives of the Burmese people. It just happens that both China's and India's provinces bordering on Burma are very poor themselves and also filled with ethnic strife. It is unlikely to see such a coalition of hillbillies succeed. If Burma is to emerge out of its misery, instead of looking at its two giant neighbors, it might have a more promising look at its similarly sized neighbor Thailand - which is not covered in this book.

Part travelogue, part history, the book suffers from the unstructured, touristic discovery mode of its author. The Burmese themselves are also not actors in this "great game" (neither are any Westerners). It is the author's view that China and India will develop and carve up Burma on their own terms. Given India's rather lethargic approach, this means it falls to China which is only interested in business. This doesn't bode well for Burma's democratic ambitions and economic development. ( )
2 abstimmen jcbrunner | Jul 31, 2012 |
This was a fascinating book, although it was not the book I expected based on the title. Burma is the center of the story, but Thant Myint-U takes the reader on a tour, geographic, historical, economic, and cultural, of the surrounding regions in China and India, regions that are very far from the political centers of their respective countries and that in various ways have functioned as frontiers. At the beginning and end of the book, he talks about the potential role of Burma as the gateway for China to the Indian Ocean (without going through the narrow Malaccan straits) and as the pathway for India to Southeast Asia.

But the heart of the book is his travels through Burma, the Chinese southwest, and the Indian northeast. In these sections he delves into the history and culture of ancient kingdoms and contemporary ethnic groups, the long and partially continuing isolation of these border areas from the mainstream of their country's culture and economic development the formidable geography, the vital importance of the major rivers coursing down from the Himalayas, politics, military events and strategy, the Chinese need for oil, religious and linguistic diversity and similarity, and much more. For me, this provided insight into areas and history I knew nothing about and broadened my awareness of the complexity of the region.

Thant was born and grew up in the US and did his graduate work in England, but his family returned to Burma to visit during his childhood summers (he is the grandson of former UN Secretary General U Thant). One of the parts of the book that interested me was his awareness of people's appearances: whether they look "Burmese" or "Southeast Asian" versus looking "Chinese" or "Indian." There was a long history of Indian presence in Burma, and he finds people and communities in India's Northeast (a region, connected to the main part of India by what's called the "chicken neck," that still is largely under military control because its various ethnic groups, who formerly had their own kingdoms there, don't feel they are Indian) similar in many ways to the Burmese.

The Chinese are building roads, railways, and pipelines through Burma, and Burma is poised to become the crossroads between China and India, as the title states. But as the author writes, "Burma would not be connecting the parts of India and China most familiar in the West, the maritime Asia that runs from Bombay to Shanghai and Tokyo, via the beaches of Thailand and Bali, Singapore and Hong Kong -- the Asia that is developing fast, the Asia of high-tech manufacturing, glittering fashion shows and luxury tourism. Instead, Burma would be connecting the vast hinterlands of India and China, much less visible, poor and with a spine of violent conflict running right through." Furthermore, it is not clear how the Burmese themselves would benefit from this.

I have one quibble. I love maps, and enjoyed looking at the maps at the beginning of the book. But the contemporary map was printed so the spine of the book goes right through Burma, making it impossible to see some of the most important locations in the book.
8 abstimmen rebeccanyc | Apr 20, 2012 |
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"An account of the Asian frontier's long and rich history and its modern significance."--Publisher's description.

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