chapter  6
Pages 10

Imagine what would have happened if China had tried to monopolize its immediate influence over Myanmar during the Cold War, on the pretext of Ne Win’s nationalization policy or the anti-Chinese riot during his reign. The act could have immediately enticed Washington to reconsider its relationship with Yangon and jeopardize the stability between Beijing and Yangon. Although such events might not happen in the way of Cold War logic, the sheer possibility of a Washington-Yangon rapprochement would be annoying and alarming to China. Any nation in a similar situation would have to make a decision between pursuit of immediate national interests and care for long-term stability. Our study consistently shows that China chooses long-term stability, although this preference for longterm stability does not always guarantee long-term stability in actuality. The reluctance toward or even renouncement of the use of coercion for China to gain advantageous power positions reflects China’s quest for relational rationality. Such relational rationality has significant implications for material national interests. These interests, according to Chinese cultural belief, will only materialize in the future that is not always apparently foreseeable.