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China's gains in Myanmar divert US attention from human rights

Security takes priority over Rohingya as Beijing builds strategic clout

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in April. China supported the Southeast Asian country when it was isolated and continues to build influence.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- The U.S. seems to be punching Myanmar with one hand while extending another for a handshake.

For five days, starting on Sept. 2, the U.S. Navy conducted its first joint military drills with Association of Southeast Asian Nations forces, including Myanmar's military. The U.S. initiated the exercise.

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