First US Secretary of State to visit Myanmar
The first US Secretary of State to visit Myanmar was John Foster Dulles, the archetypal Cold Warrior, who came in 1955 with the hope to persuading the U Nu government to join the newly formed SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organization). Relations with the US were not particularly close at the time. The two countries were not very familiar with one another and the Americans worried that the AFPFL would soon turn further to the left or that the country would come under Communist rule. The Burmese were extremely upset with US support for the KMT army of General Li Mi who had invaded the Shan states and seized considerable territory east of the Salween. By 1955 the US had reduced support but Burmese suspicions of American intentions remained. The February 1955 Dulles visit was soon followed by U Nu's two weeks visit to the United States that summer. US-Burma ties improved over the late 1950s and until the 1962 coup. The photo is of John Foster Dulles with President Dr Ba U at Government House.