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It's complicated: Myanmar and China have a difficult relationship

Generals aware of risks of depending on Beijing

Workers in Naypyitaw prepare for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2020. Myanmar's military has been wary of becoming overly dependent on China.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- China's response to the coup d'etat in Myanmar on Feb. 1 was quiet, merely describing the country as a "friendly neighbor." Perhaps it was difficult for Beijing to acknowledge the political drama in a country that shares a border of 2,160 km.

It is easier to understand Beijing's position through Chinese media reports than from the government's official statements. The state-run Xinhua News Agency described the overthrow of the civilian government by the Myanmar military as a "major cabinet reshuffle."

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