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 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     

China seeks big-ticket


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troops to troubled
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ASIA
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Rebel a acks escalate
UNHEDGED
China must ‘expand
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4 HOURS AGO The Arakan Army, Myanmar's newest and least known insurgent group, is tilting the already volatile Rakhine region towards all- EVEN MORE
US opened criminal out war

probe of Huawei for

trade secret theft:

report

Case involves years-old


By DAVID SCOTT MATHIESON | YANGON, JANUARY 15, 2019 6:50 PM (UTC+8)       1  633
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China’s military

approaching critical

milestone: US

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Top o cial expresses fear
that China is ready to test
me le in regional ght;
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

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9 HOURS AGO

Talk grows of US
EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     
government

shutdown causing
China seeks big-ticket
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recession

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million contractors losing
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pay
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Arakan Army soldiers take aim from an undisclosed location in Myanmar. Photo: Arakan Army Video

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CHINA DIGEST
ECONOMICS AND POLICY FROM
CHINA'S NEWSPAPERS he Arakan Army, one of Myanmar’s newest and least known insurgent

T
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groups, has been hurled from obscurity to prominence a er a
2 HOURS AGO series of escalated a acks that threaten to tilt the country’s
China will not relax already volatile Rakhine state towards all-out war.
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housing rules as

prices climb: analysts

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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times
70 large and medium-sized
On January 4, Myanmar’s Independence Day from British colonial rule, More on this topic
 year-on-
cities saw a 9.7%
year increase in December
EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
the Arakan Army staged one of their most brazen and belligerent
    
a acks a er several weeks of expanded ambushes and engagements
China seeks big-ticket
3 HOURS AGO
with Myanmar security forces.
China must ‘expand
payback from Myanmar
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domestic demand’ as
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economy shrinks
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Premier Li Keqiang tells
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BeijingMAIN
symposiumLATEST
that
more investment in public Report Myanmar sends more
services and infrastructure is SUBMIT
needed 07:54
17-01-2019
Your Email here troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices
3 HOURS AGO
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climb: analysts (Asia
In Buthidaung township, in the early morning, Arakan Army soldiers
Times Sta )
Dongguan GDP ‘up

7.5%’ in 2018 staged coordinated a acks on four camps of paramilitary Border


City's total import and
Guard Police (BGP). The military’s media arm, Myawady Daily, reported Rebel a acks escalate
17-01-2019 07:31 exceeded 1.3
export volume
trillion must
China yuan ‘expand on January 5 that Arakan Army insurgents a acked the bases in
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
MORE  greater numbers than reportedly ever used before.
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )

100 Arakan Army soldiers a acked the BGP base at Ngamyinbaw, 100 at EVEN MORE

Kyaungtaung, 100 at Khahtihla, and 50 at Gokpi, the report said.

Thirteen BGP troops were killed in the a acks, with two of the police
stations completely overrun. The insurgents took a number of
prisoners who were later released as they withdrew. There are no
credible estimates of Arakan Army or state security force casualties in
MORE 
the recent ramped up ghting.

The Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, has responded by deploying an


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unknown number of troops to the area, by road, air and river cra ,
including a number of units from crack Light Infantry Divisions (LIDs)
no’s
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

A ack helicopters have been used by state forces, including during a More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
four-hour re ght between 50 Arakan Army soldiers and a Tatmadaw
    
unit in Buthidaung Township on January 13. The size and relative
China seeks big-ticket
sophistication of these ambushes came as a surprise to military and
payback from Myanmar
government leaders, who reacted with a show of unusual unity and
THE BRIEF resolve.
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Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
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Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar Commander In-Chief (L) and de facto national leader Aung San Suu
Kyi (R) in a le photo. Photo: AFP/ Phyo Hein Kyaw

MORE  A rare meeting of senior civilian government and military o cials on


January 7, a ended by President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung
San Suu Kyi, and Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung
Hlaing, marked possibly the rst assembly of the high level o cials
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since the National League of Democracy government came to power in


March 2016.
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

According to state media, the o cials discussed “the topic of Rakhine More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
state and border security ma ers”, and the December 21 ‘cease re’
    
called by Min Aung Hlaing to pause Tatmadaw operations from
China seeks big-ticket
December 21, 2018 to April 30 of this year to pursue bilateral peace
payback from Myanmar
talks with northern Myanmar-based insurgent groups.
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The military has accused other northern ethnic armed organizations
of breaching the December 21 suspension and have tried to cast blame Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54
on the Arakan Army. The cease re process in the country’s north, troops to troubled
China will not relax northeast and west is e ectively dead, despite the Tatmadaw’s dubious Rakhine State
housing rules as prices overtures. BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )
Local commentator Maung Maung Soe told one of Myanmar’s online
Rebel a acks escalate
17-01-2019 07:31 political talk-shows that this was the rst time the NLD government war in Rakhine state
China must ‘expand
domestic demand’ as
had formally instructed the Tatmadaw to a ack a speci c armed BERTIL LINTNER

economy shrinks (Asia group, although the civilian government is at times as belligerent as the
Times Sta )
military in demanding recalcitrant rebels capitulate.
EVEN MORE

The president’s spokesman, Zaw Htay, told a press conference on


January 7 that the Arakan Army was a “terrorist organization” that had
contacts with the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), including
an alleged meeting of the two groups in Bangladesh, and that the
government had vowed to “crush the terrorists.”
MORE 
The spokesman further threatened the Rakhine population at large:
“Do they want to see a cycle of violence lasting decades?…I want to tell
Rakhine people who are supporting (the Arakan Army): Don’t think
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about yourself, but think about your next generation.”

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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

The Arakan Army’s political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA), More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
said in a statement on the same day as the government’s high level
    
security meeting, that it has never had any contact with ARSA while
China seeks big-ticket
vowing to continue its resistance against the government.
payback from Myanmar
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Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
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A Myanmar soldier stands near Maungdaw, north of Rakhine state, September 27, 2017. Photo:
Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

ARSA stands accused of launching raids on border police outposts in


August 2017 that sparked the Tatmadaw’s now notorious “area
MORE 
clearance” operations in Rakhine state that drive over 700,000
Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh.

The Arakan Army, which has gradually built up a signi cant armed
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presence, with some estimates of as many as 3,000 soldiers in the


region, appears resolute and ready to pursue its so-called ‘Way of
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Rakhita’ rebellion against Myanmar state rule.
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

In an interview with The Irrawaddy magazine on January 10, Arakan More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
Army leader Major General Tun Myat Naing said that Tatmadaw
    
reinforcements were arriving in the area, and that “(I)t is very likely
China seeks big-ticket
that future clashes will be erce…we will retaliate.”
payback from Myanmar
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“I heard (o cials) say that Rakhine will be completely ruined in the


MAIN LATEST
next 10 years or so, and that Rakhine will meet the same fate as Syria.
So I believe that if they want to destroy our land, we should destroy Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54
their (majority Burman) land. However, we are open to peace talks if troops to troubled
China will not relax our presence in Rakhine state is recognized.” Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta ) It’s operational presence in key townships of northern and central
Rakhine, including in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Ponnangyun, and
Rebel a acks escalate
17-01-2019 07:31 Kyuaktaw townships, along with a strong presence in Paletwa war in Rakhine state
China must ‘expand
domestic demand’ as
township in Chin state, will make any Tatmadaw operation logistically BERTIL LINTNER

economy shrinks (Asia challenging.


Times Sta )
EVEN MORE
So, too, will the Arakan Army’s suspected access to safe havens in
bordering Bangladesh and India.

Ethnic Rakhine public support for the Arakan Army has been rising in
recent years, and these latest a acks could lead to greater antipathy
towards the Myanmar state and military, further bedeviling Rakhine’s
MORE  immense development challenges and a deteriorating humanitarian
situation.

In a related development, on January 14, the Rakhine High Court


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upheld the decision of a lower court to bring to trial Dr Aye Maung, a


former Arakan National Party leader who is facing charges of high
treason
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 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     

China seeks big-ticket


payback from Myanmar
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST

Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand Arakan Army leader Major General Tun Myat Naing (R) at a conference of rebel groups on July 26,
war in Rakhine state
domestic demand’ as 2016. Photo: AFP BERTIL LINTNER

economy shrinks (Asia


Times Sta )
for making anti-government remarks at a public event a year ago. EVEN MORE

Aye Maung had expressed public support for the Arakan Army, speech
that has seen scores of Rakhine political activists and even Buddhist
monks imprisoned for breaches of the colonial era 1908 Unlawful
Association Act.

MORE 
Signi cantly, the appeal of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe,
both jailed on O cial Secrets Act convictions, was upheld on January
11 in part on the fact that Wa Lone had phone numbers of Arakan Army
leaders in one of his old notebooks.
RBP

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The jailed journalist claims he never used the contacts. But this small More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
detail was included in the widely criticized verdict to uphold their
    
internationally condemned seven year sentences.
China seeks big-ticket
payback from Myanmar
The government’s counter-terrorist rhetoric against the Arakan Army
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is entering dangerous new territory. The only armed group to be


MAIN LATEST
publicly and o cially designated a terrorist organization under the
2014 Anti-Terrorism Law is ARSA. Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
EVEN MORE

A screenshot from an Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) propaganda video. Photo: Youtube

MORE  The government has refrained from labeling other armed groups
under the 2014 law, potentially to avoid a moral equivalence of
Myanmar’s long- standing ethnic armed rebels with the reviled
Rohingya minority.
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The military-controlled ministry of home a airs reputedly maintains a


secret
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That opens the possibility of new arrests and investigations under the More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
anti-terror law, as authorities have already done for several years with
    
Rakhine civilians under unlawful associations.
China seeks big-ticket
payback from Myanmar
But it is unclear if the AA will be formally designated a terrorist
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organization, which would complicate possible future peace talks.


MAIN LATEST

The Tatmadaw’s anti-AA rhetoric is laden with messages of betrayal Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54 and advantage, claiming that police and army units were con gured to troops to troubled
China will not relax respond to the potential for ARSA a acks, none of which have been Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
o cially acknowledged by ARSA since an ambush in Maungdaw one
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta ) year ago.

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
Brigadier General Myint Toe, commander of the No 1 Border Guard war in Rakhine state
China must ‘expand
domestic demand’ as Police Garrison in north Rakhine state, told the Myanmar media, BERTIL LINTNER

economy shrinks (Asia “When we paid a ention to the possible a acks of the ARSA, the AA
Times Sta )
launched well-organized a ack on the police outposts. It was a stab in
EVEN MORE
the back…the AA took political advantage as to its a ack.”

Con ating the Arakan Army with ARSA will likely be detrimental to
Myanmar public perceptions of o en maligned Rakhine grievances
towards the central government, and fuel further resentment from
ethnic Rakhine communities, both inside Rakhine state and among
MORE  large internal migrant worker communities where Rakhine o en toil
in underpaid and unsafe occupations.

International reactions to the January 4 a acks have been largely of


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silent bewilderment at the emergence of a barely understood armed


group that has o en been eclipsed by the humanitarian catastrophe
facing
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 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     

China seeks big-ticket


payback from Myanmar
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST

Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand Myanmar solders patrol the streets at Thapyuchai village, outside of Thandwe in Rakhine state.
war in Rakhine state
domestic demand’ as Photo: Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun BERTIL LINTNER

economy shrinks (Asia


Times Sta )
The heads of missions of the European Union and EU delegation has EVEN MORE
been one of only a few Western embassies to call for restraint, saying in
a statement, “The escalation of violence in Rakhine state must stop
immediately. The EU deplores the a ack by the Arakan Army (AA) on
several police posts in Rakhine State, and deeply regrets the loss of
lives. We call for restraint and urge all sides to respect their obligations
under international humanitarian law to protect civilians.”
MORE 

The government continues to restrict access to almost all United


Nations and international relief agencies to the townships a ected by
the recent ghting, where over 5,000 civilians have been displaced in
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the past few weeks. That’s inhibited a credible, impartial humanitarian


response as reports of abuses against civilians mount.
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

Meanwhile, all the pieces of a political, economic, and humanitarian More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
con ict are aligning in a potentially new and dangerous phase to
    
Rakhine state’s protracted misery. With growing community support
China seeks big-ticket
for the Arakan Army’s stru gle, and the almost inevitable dramatic and
payback from Myanmar
abusive overreaction of the Tatmadaw, war could engulf Myanmar’s
THE BRIEF Rakhine state for years to come.
BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST
David Sco Mathieson is a Yangon-based independent analyst Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia    
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31 #SOUTHEAST ASIA #MYANMAR #ARAKAN ARMY #RAKHINE STATE #INSURGENCY
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
#TATMADAW #ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS #AUNG SAN SUU KYI #MIN AUNG HLAING BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia #UNITED LEAGUE OF ARAKAN #LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISIONS #BORDER GUARD POLICE
Times Sta ) #TERRORIST ORGANIZATION #ARAKAN ROHINGYA SALVATION ARMY #TUN MYAT NAING
EVEN MORE
#JAILED REUTERS REPORTERS #EUROPEAN UNION #2014 ANTI-TERRORISM LAW

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 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     
Why Filipinos still love Duterte
China seeks big-ticket
payback from Myanmar
Philippine leader's approval ratings bounce back after a dip in 2018, just in time to boost his political allies at pivotal mid-term

THE BRIEF
elections
BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST By RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN | MANILA, JANUARY 15, 2019 5:49 PM (UTC+8)      0 0
Myanmar sends more
17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
EVEN MORE

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 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     

China seeks big-ticket


payback from Myanmar
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST

Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
EVEN MORE

A Rodrigo Duterte supporter during presidential election campaigning in Malabon, Metro Manila in the Philippines April 27, 2016. Reuters/Erik De Castro

MORE 

hilippine President Rodrigo Duterte enters 2019 riding high in opinion

P
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polls, a surge in popularity that is buoying the electoral More on this topic
prospects of his political allies ahead of crucial mid-term polls
set for later this year.
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The elections, scheduled for May 13, will serve as a de facto referendum More onMalaysian
this topic
caught with
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
on Duterte’s controversial rule and will determine the balance of power
  fake Philippine
  passport
in the legislature, crucial to advancing the tough-talking leader’s in Manila
China seeks
ASIA TIMES STAFF big-ticket
agenda for the second half of his six-year term.
payback from Myanmar
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your Filipinos coming to


MAIN LATEST The daily inbox Hong Kong advised not
Report to bring weapons
Myanmar sends more
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17-01-2019 07:54
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China will not relax Rakhine State


housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
The stakes, political analysts say, could not be higher for Philippine Indonesian Abu Sayyaf
Times Sta )
democracy. hostage freed in the
Philippines
Rebel a acks escalate
17-01-2019 07:31
war in Rakhine state
ASIA TIMES STAFF
China must ‘expand In particular, if Duterte’s Ad
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia allies win control of the
EVEN MORE
Times Sta ) powerful Senate, now a last
elected bastion of opposition EVEN MORE

to his rule, the president will


be in a position to push for
sweeping and potentially
transformative legal change.

That could include broached


MORE 
revisions to the national
constitution, including a possible removal of legal term limits for
elected o cials, including the president, and a move towards a federal
system of governance.
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

A er another year of ery rhetoric, including frequent verbal spats More on this topic
 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar
with the Catholic Church in the deeply conservative Christian nation
    
and broadsides directed at critics of his policies, Duterte’s approval
China seeks big-ticket
ratings are on an upward trajectory again a er falling o last year amid
payback from Myanmar
various controversies.
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

CONTINUE READING
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Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand You May Also Like war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
EVEN MORE

Malaysian caught with fake China seeks big-ticket China will not relax housing
Philippine passport in Manila payback from Myanmar rules as prices climb: analysts
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1/17/2019 A new war rages in Myanmar - Asia Times

More on this topic


 EST 1995 SOUTHEAST ASIA | A new war rages in Myanmar     

China seeks big-ticket


payback from Myanmar
THE BRIEF BERTIL LINTNER

MAIN LATEST

Myanmar sends more


17-01-2019 07:54
troops to troubled
China will not relax Rakhine State
housing rules as prices BERTIL LINTNER
climb: analysts (Asia
Times Sta )

Rebel a acks escalate


17-01-2019 07:31
China must ‘expand
war in Rakhine state
BERTIL LINTNER
domestic demand’ as
economy shrinks (Asia
Times Sta )
EVEN MORE

MORE 

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