China and India have always been seperated not only by the Himalayas, but also by the impenetrable jungle and remote areas that once stretched across Burma. Now this last great frontier will likely vanish - forests cut down, dirt roads replaced by superhighways, insurgencies ended - leaving China and India exposed to each other as never before. This basic shift in geography is as profound as the opening of the Suez Canal and is taking place just as the centre of the world's economy moves to the East.
Thant Myint-U has travelled extensively across this vast territory, where high-speed trains and gleaming shopping malls now sit alongside the last remaining forests and impoverished mountain communities. In Where China Meets India he explores the new strategic centrality of Burma, the country of his ancestry, where Asia's two rising giant powers - China and India - appear to be vying for supremacy.
Part travelogue, part history, part investigation, Where China Meets India takes us across the fast-changing Asian frontier, giving us a masterful account of the region's long and rich history and its sudden significance for the rest of the world.
Thant Myint-U is the author of The River of Lost Footsteps and has written articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the New Statesman. He has worked alongside Kofi Annan at the UN's Department of Political Affairs and currently works as a special consultant to the Burmese government.
Policy analysis, travelogue, and history combine in the latest from former UN diplomat Thant (The River of Lost Footsteps). Focuses on his home country of Burma, and the area encompassed by a diameter of 1,000 miles drawn from the city of Mandalay on the edge of the Shan Plateau, Thant suggests that this corner of the world (with a population of 600 million) is destined to become a bridge between Bengal, Bangladesh, India's North Eastern Provinces, and China's Yunnan province. As China moves down to the coast, the pipelines, refineries, hydro-electric dams, and transmission lines presently under construction are setting the stage. Thant foresees conditions in which both Burma's military rulers and India will seek to balance China's outreach, with a flowering of economic potential as a possible result. Thant's knowledge of Burma's history, peoples, cultures, and kingdoms brings focus to his travels through the area. The constant interplay between his experiences and knowledge of the region make this book a gem, with myriad rare insights.