China has been severely criticised in the West for being an obstacle to democracy and progress on human rights in Myanmar. This is due largely to the perception that China, despite being a big and influential neighbour, has been extremely reluctant to apply pressure on Myanmar. Such a perception ignores the complexities in the China-Myanmar relationship. The two countries have various types of exchanges and interactions not only at the central government level but also at the local level in the border areas. China engages in multi-level and multi-faceted cooperation with Myanmar and provides suggestions to Myanmar as a friendly neighbour. Rather than being an obstacle, China's active engagement with Myanmar offers a viable alternative to cajoling the Myanmar military government in a direction more acceptable to the international community.