Aung Aung


Research Departments・Position

Political and Economic Coexistence・Guest Research Associate


Research Interests / Keywords


The International Politics of Rakhine Crisis in Myanmar: China, Japan, and United States

I am writing about the Rakhine Crisis in Myanmar while I am at the CSEAS.
In my paper, the Rakhine Crisis refers to the Rohingya Crisis, and I will examine China, Japan and the U.S. role in the crisis with their involvements, their interests and their concerns. I will also find out how they view each other and how they strive to influence or persuade Myanmar. Since 2011, Myanmar has been under democratic reforms, and since then, the relationship between Myanmar and the West were improved. Myanmar viewed the U.S. as a good friend of Myanmar since the U.S. straightly supported Myanmar’s democracy movement in the past, but due to its stance on the Rohingya Crisis, the relations between the U.S and Myanmar is getting tense. Myanmar has viewed that the U.S. and the West extremely focus on human rights and international liberal interests. On the other hands, since 2011, Myanmar negatively viewed China because China unilaterally supported previous Myanmar’s military junta. However, China appeared as a good friend of Myanmar in the Rohingya Crisis, and the relations between China and Myanmar is getting close. Myanmar has viewed that China extremely focus on its security and national interests. Amid of Americanophobia and Sinophobia, Myanmar looks for more friends who understand Myanmar on this Rohingya issue, and Myanmar eyes Japan as old and good friend of Myanmar. Can Japan play more than the U.S. and China? Can Japan be a balance maker in Myanmar’s Rakhine State between the U.S. and China? My research will look into these questions.


Aung Aung is a regular contributor to the Myanmar-language press under the pen-name Aung Aung IR. He obtained his master’s degrees in international relations, and peace and conflict resolutions from KDI School of Public Policy and Management in South Korea in 2006 and from Duke University in the United States in 2012. He is also a Rotary Peace Fellow. In Myanmar, he worked for the Internal Revenue Department (IRD) (1993-1998), the Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB) (1998-2008), Save the Children International (SCI) (2008-2009), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (2011-2012), the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2013) and The Delegation of European Union in Myanmar (EU) (2014-2019). He also served as guest researcher at the Institute for Security Development Policy (ISDP) in Sweden in 2012 and as a visiting fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore in 2018. At ISDP, his research focused on the role of political parties in promoting democracy in Myanmar, and at ISEAS, his research focused on upcoming 2020 Myanmar’s general elections. At CSEAS, his research will focus on international politics of the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar.