Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia, or Indochina. The country is bordered by the People's Republic of China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, and the Bay of Bengal to the southwest with the Andaman Sea defining its southern periphery. One-third of Burma's total perimeter, 1,930 kilometres (1,199 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.
The country's culture, heavily influenced by neighbours, is based on Theravada Buddhism intertwined with local elements. Burma's diverse population has played a major role in defining its politics, history and demographics in modern times, and the country continues to struggle to mend its ethnic tensions. The military has dominated government since General Ne Win led a coup in 1962 that toppled the civilian government of U Nu. Burma remains under the tight control of the military-led State Peace and Development Council.
Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2010 of Burma's most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country's foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other economic sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.
Burma is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas, ruby crystals, and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$53.14 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%.
In the G.I. Joe/Transformers Universe
In the Transformers Universe, Burma is home to deposits of rare and powerful ruby crystals. Mines are set up to unearth the fragile energy crystals. At one point Sparkplug worked in those mines, and in 1984 the Decepticons took over the largest mine to steal energy.
The amounts the Decepticons found were such that Megatron believed they could power their entire home planet with them. Of course, the Autobots couldn't let this happen and blew the mines up. The Decepticons still managed to get away with some concentrated energon cubes filled with ruby crystal energy.
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