Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government’s (NUG) foreign policy is focused on gaining international recognition as the sole legitimate and democratically elected government in the country. Ever since the Myanmar military seized power on 1 February 2021, there has been rising international concern over the military’s violence against peaceful pro-democracy protestors. Although several countries have called for a return to democracy in Myanmar, only a handful have shown the political willingness to engage with the NUG in its efforts to challenge the military rule. In addition, there is limited discussion and understanding of the NUG’s policies.
This situation raises some key questions about the NUG’s current foreign policy strategy, its strengths and weaknesses, and its ability to effectively engage with a wide range of actors to achieve its political objectives. Furthermore, it highlights the need to shed further light on the NUG's future plans, specifically in relation to forming viable and lasting collaborations with foreign governments.
This paper will take a closer look at the NUG’s foreign policy strategy, identifying its current strengths and loopholes that need to be fixed. This is an extremely crucial step to promote the NUG's policies, especially in light of declining international and regional attention towards Myanmar due to other international crises (e.g. the Russia-Ukraine war) as well as ASEAN's tendency to “normalize” military rule.