Ne Win (Burmese: ?????? IPA: [nè w?´?]; 10 July 1910, or 14 or 24 May 1911 – 5 December 2002) was a Burmese politician and military commander who served as Prime Minister of Burma from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1974, and also President of Burma from 1962 to 1981.
Ne Win was Burma's military dictator during the Socialist Burma period of 1962 to 1988.
Ne Win founded the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) and overthrew the democratic Union Parliament of U Nu in the 1962 Burmese coup d'état, establishing Burma as a one-party socialist state under the Burmese Way to Socialism ideology.
Ne Win was Burma's de facto leader as chairman of the BSPP, serving in various official titles as part of his military government, and was known by his supporters as U Ne Win.
His rule was characterized by isolationism, political violence, sinophobia, totalitarianism, economic collapse, and is credited with turning Burma into one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.
Ne Win resigned in July 1988 in response to the 8888 Uprising that overthrew the BSPP, and was replaced by the military junta of the State Law and Order Restoration Council.
He held minor influence in the 1990s until being placed under house arrest, and died in 2002.
In foreign affairs, Ne Win followed a strictly neutralist policy during the Cold War, participating in the Non-Aligned Movement and keeping his distance from both the United States and the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, his relations with Mao Zedong and the People's Republic of China were initially excellent, but were temporarily broken between 1967 and 1971, due to Mao's covert support for the Communist insurgency within Burma and the outbreak of anti-Chinese riots by regime supporters; however, in March 1971 relations were fully restored and Chinese economic aid continued.