From Mr Richard Ellis.

Sir, Lionel Barber’s interesting article on his visit to Myanmar (The Diary, Life & Arts, April 13) identifies very plausible reasons why the generals opted for reform, and fear of becoming a client state of China is high on his list and undoubtedly correct.

Pride in their past and an unwillingness to remain a pariah state have added impetus to the reforms now under way.

It is also entirely possible that the generals have taken a much longer-term view of where they expect the west to be in 40 years in relation to China, and that the three-player game between the state, private entrepreneurial innovation and financial capitalism as embodied by the west is unlikely to be overtaken and surpassed by the Chinese model which also lacks one key element – democracy.

Richard Ellis, Bangkok, Thailand

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