PLEDGE NOW
A New Look Towards Myanmar

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Myanmar. We look at that nation’s steps toward democracy and rising strategic importance.

An exterior view shows Myanmar's Parliament buildings where the second regular session is being held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. Parliament approved Thursday a law guaranteeing the right to protest, one of a series of reforms under the new elected government. (AP)

An exterior view shows Myanmar's Parliament buildings where the second regular session is being held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. Parliament approved Thursday a law guaranteeing the right to protest, one of a series of reforms under the new elected government. (AP)

Hillary Clinton heads into Burma – Myanmar – tomorrow, the first US Secretary of State to make the visit in more than half a century. That’s a long time.

Burma was the dreamland of the British Empire. Rangoon. Mandalay. Its wilds have for ages stood between what are now two booming powers: India and China.

Now China would like to see Myanmar as its California – a second coast of pipelines, highways, and access to the sea. A break in Myanmar’s military dictatorship has given the US a chance to say hello.

This hour, On Point: Southeast Asia’s new strategic crossroads – Myanmar.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Quinn, foreign policy correspondent for Reuters.

Thant Myint-U, author of Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia.

David Steinberg, professor of foreign service at Georgetown University and author of Modern China-Myanmar Relations: Dilemmas of Mutual Dependence.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “The Obama administration is taking a foreign policy gamble by sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on a historic trip to the isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar this week.”

Foreign Policy “After 20 years without a parliament and democratic process, its new leaders are now showing a surprising impatience with the status quo and are changing the way this country is ruled. Western policymakers should sit up and take notice of these reforms — and, most importantly, respond.”

Foreign Affairs “By contrast, the boom in China’s Yunnan Province has boosted Myanmar’s economy and brought the country closer to China, which covets a pathway to the Bay of Bengal, an important shipping hub.”

Playlist

We played two selections from “Mahagita: Harp and Vocal Music of Burma” from Smithsonian Folkways on today’s show:

“Lonely in the Forest”

“A Huntsman Enchanted”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jun 30, 2015
People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the plant, bottom right, reading ''NO'' in Athens, Tuesday. It's crunch time for Greece, with the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Greece closes its banks as debt negotiations reach a crisis point. We hear the latest on the debt crisis and its threat to the Eurozone.

Jun 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 29, 2015
Bacteria under a microscope.

Can bacteria in your gut influence your brain? Your mood? Your emotions? Top scientists say yes.

 
Jun 29, 2015
People walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday April 26, 2014. Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device. Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home? How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (AP)

Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Lethal injection. Voting rights. Redistricting. A big look at the Supreme Court term.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments
 
How To Follow Team USA At The Women’s World Cup
Monday, Jun 15, 2015

Good news! You can watch the 2015 Women’s World Cup on basic broadcast TV. Bad news: we can’t quite predict if the American team is going to make it all the way to the July 5 championship game.

More »
3 Comments