YANGON: Myanmar is probing whether to resume construction on a controversial Chinese-backed dam, state media reported Saturday, with promises to listen to fierce public opposition to the project. The fate of the $3.6 billion Myitsone dam in northern Kachin state has hung in the balance since it was abruptly halted by Myanmar in 2011 following protests over environmental and safety concerns. The hydropower project came to symbolise China’s economic dominance in formerly junta-run Myanmar and now poses a delicate challenge to the country’s new civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The veteran activist is eager to prevent renewed protests at home but also wants to maintain healthy ties with top investor Beijing, which has been lobbying her government to unfreeze the project.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2016.