In those days in South-East Asia, being a communist was a bit fashionable.
When you said you were a commie in those times, people may think you were misguided but they still allowed that you were idealist and you sought justice and the general good.
At that time, Mr Mao was rather eager to export his revolutions to near-by countries, including ours.
Then Burmese author, U Thein Pe Myint wrote in the papers how hostile Mao was to Myanmar. It shook us. We simply could not understand why he would harbour such hostility to a country like ours --- peaceful, cowardly and rather in self-isolation.
If you cannot be nice to a docile, cowardly, subservient country, you must be truly out of control. Nero style.