Navigating the China-Myanmar Frontier: Beyond Boundaries

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
(Pacific)
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Navigating the China-Myanmar Frontier: Beyond Borders

Criminal elements operating within Myanmar are increasingly targeting citizens on the shared border with China. Although this security challenge is not explicitly a border conflict, the victimization of Chinese citizens by criminal networks within Myanmar is a pressing crisis in the region. According to a recent report by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the territorial ambiguity between China and Myanmar opens doors to transnational crimes that resonate across the globe. 

Stanford’s China program is proud to present this session featuring Jason Tower, the author of the USIP report, visiting APARC China Policy Fellow Professor Wei Da, as well as Scot Marciel, the former U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar. This panel will unpack the multifaceted problems at the border and discuss international efforts toward sustainable solutions.

Jason Tower

Jason Tower has over 20 years of experience working on conflict and security issues in China and Southeast Asia. Prior to USIP, he worked to establish the Beijing office of the American Friends Service Committee and initiated programming across North and Southeast Asia on the impacts of cross-border investments on conflict dynamics. During this time, Tower also worked extensively in Burma on peace and security issues. He previously served as Southeast Asia program manager for the PeaceNexus Foundation, managing a portfolio of grants and partnerships in China, Burma and Cambodia. Tower’s research focuses on a range of issues at the nexus of crime and conflict in Southeast Asia. Recent work includes a study of the impacts of transnational criminal networks on conflict in Burma and regional security across Southeast Asia; a report on criminal activity on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); and a review of the impacts of the BRI on conflict. Additionally, Tower has also published more than a dozen articles analyzing the impacts of the Myanmar coup, including on regional security in Asia.

DA Wei

Wei Da is the director of the Center for International Security and Strategy  (CISS) at Tsinghua, and professor of department of International Relations, school of Social Science, Tsinghua University. Dr. Da ’s research expertise covers China-US relations and US security & foreign policy. He has worked in China’s academic and policy community for more than 2 decades. Prior to current positions, Dr. Da was the assistant president of University of International Relations (2017-2020), director of the Institute of American Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (2013-2017). He has written hundreds of policy papers to Chinese government, and published dozens of academic papers on journals in China, the US and other countries. He earned his BA and MA from UIR, and his Ph.D. from CICIR. He was a visiting senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States from 2006 to 2007, and a visiting senior associate at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University from 2008 to 2009.

Portrait of Scot Marciel

Ambassador Scot Marciel is the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He retired from the U.S. State Department in April 2022 after a 37-year career that included assignments as the first U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN, Ambassador to Indonesia and to Myanmar, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific.  He witnessed the Philippine People Power revolt as a junior foreign service officer in Manila and was the first U.S. diplomat to serve in Hanoi after the Vietnam War.