China is almost unanimously being portrayed as the most important ally of the military junta in Burma. The notion that Burma is turning into a vassal state of China is not uncommon; it has even been suggested that Burma is becoming the 24th province of China, and that China is the puppet master of Burma. Do these descriptions depict a realistic picture of Sino-Burmese relations? If not, what is then the genuine nature of the relationship? China and Burma share not only a lengthy border, they also share a long history. The Burmese have drawn a lesson from this history, which a little tabloid and perhaps a bit overstated, can be summed up in the words of a former Burmese Ambassador to China: “Han, Manchu, Nationalist, Communist – it makes no difference to the Burmese. A Chinese is a Chinese – and to be feared.”Chinese foreign policy has recently shown a gradual shift from an absolute support of pariah states such as Burma, to a more pragmatic approach, taking international reputation and soft power into consideration when dealing with these states. Being associated with regimes such as the Burmese is becoming a reputaional burden for Beijing. Furthermore, instability on the Burmese side of the border has grave consequences also on the Chinese side. Combined with the economic illiteracy of the Burmese military junta which is impeding bilateral trade, these factors are making Beijing increasingly frustrated with the Burmese regime. At the same time Burma remains strategically important for China, especially for future Chinese energy security. Burma on its side, is reliant on China for countering the negative consequences of Western sanctions and for diplomatic protection. Burma has a history of neutrality, and remained neutral during the cold war. Continuing this line of non-alignment, Burma has actively sought to diversify its international partners, and now counts big international players as ASEAN, India and Russia among its partners. This is all reducing dependency on China. The thesis concludes that although China is one of, and perhaps the most important ally of the military junta Burma, the notion that Burma is becoming a Chinese vassal state is highly unrealistic. Furthermore, the incentives that has led China to support the Burmese junta is slowly changing, and this may in turn subtly modify the Chinese attitude towards Burma’s current regime.