Myanmar issue under the shadow of the relationship between Russia, China and the United States

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 23 Scenes

MoeMaKa, March 24 2023

Myanmar issue under the shadow of the relationship between Russia, China and the United States


The demolition of the military dictatorship and the issue of federalism and democracy in Myanmar are domestic issues. However, in the case of incidents and events in practice, the Myanmar domestic issue is not seen as a domestic issue in isolation. It is being shaped as a part of global strategy by the world’s powerful countries and is having an impact. Armed political forces involved in the Myanmar affair are also used as a part of global strategy, and due to attempts at changing the balance of domestic power, no obvious change is seen in the Myanmar issue.


Even before the military coup, the Myanmar military leader had established a good relationship with Russia and tried to improve it. After the coup, he has to depend more on Russia due to being diplomatically ostracized. In recent months, the military leader had a chance to meet with the Russian President in person at the Eastern Economic Forum, and this news was vastly described in the military council’s news media. When Russia is being economically sanctioned by most countries in Europe and the West after February 24, 2022, and is being considered an aggressor in the world, the military council leader’s serious statement to Russian President Putin, whether intended or not, is making Myanmar more susceptible to suffer from the impacts of the global strategy.


According to an international report a few months ago, it was found that Myanmar was included in the list of countries that supply and support the purchase of military weapons by Russia. As for the report, it is not known how strong or weak the evidence is regarding this allegation. It is an accusation that is difficult to understand, given that a country like Myanmar, which cannot produce anything related to technologically advanced weapons, will be able to sell military weapons to Russia. There is also little chance that the Myanmar military council will act as an intermediary and help in the purchase of military weapons by Russia.



However, Myanmar is becoming a country involved in the Ukraine-Russia war, and in the power competition between Russia and the United States of Western Europe, which is the current situation.

In addition to the competition between Russia and the Western countries, another competition in the world is the US-China competition. Until now, there has been no major intervention between the United States and China in the armed conflict, but if one side begins to participate, and if the other side provides countermeasures such as weapons and financial aid for weapons, there is a possibility that Myanmar will be transformed into an intermediary battlefield.

According to the NDAA, which was recently announced at the end of the year, the US has increased its strategic spending in Southeast Asia. Defense expenses aimed at deterring China’s expansion will also be used to respond to China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It was used as a US military base for decades after World War II and closed after the Marcos era. Now, after Marcos’ son became president in the Philippines, they agreed to build military bases again. These situations are scenes of competition between China and the United States.

In terms of economic power and the spread of economic and political influence in various parts of the world, if Myanmar becomes a place of intermediary between the two main rivals, the United States and China, the federal issues of Myanmar’s democracy are likely to go further. China already has influence over the ethnic armed groups in the regions bordering Myanmar, and this fact is evident when looking at the recent announcement by the Northern Alliance that it welcomes China’s intervention. In this situation, China is judged to be cautious in dealing with the Myanmar issue, and has not openly expressed its weapons provision and which armed groups it supports, and has only shown its desire to increase relations with the current military council.

I think it is important for Myanmar not to lose sight of its federal affairs, democracy, and the overthrow of the military dictatorship as the first, second, and third priorities, so that its domestic affairs do not fall under the shadow of global strategies.