Myanmar’s New Dawn

Opportunities for Aung San Suu Kyi and U.S.-Myanmar Relations

Myanmar entered a new era in its contemporary history when the democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government took office on April 1, 2016, following its landslide electoral victory in the November 2015 elections. State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, has an unprecedented window of opportunity over the next five years to build a foundation for Myanmar to effectively address its economic growth challenges and ethnic and communal strife. Despite its popular mandate, the government needs to work with a powerful and entrenched military, while allowing the nascent democratic transition to take hold. This report sheds light on key developments that have taken place in Myanmar’s domestic situation and foreign policy under the NLD government. The report also offers suggestions to the U.S. government as it works to cement bilateral U.S.-Myanmar relations in the coming years and help advance the country’s reform process.
Photo credit: Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images
Murray Hiebert
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Southeast Asia Program

Audrey Jackson

Phuong Nguyen