Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 21 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 22 2023
NUG welcomes China’s intervention in resolving the Myanmar issue; Will the competition between the US and China have an impact on Myanmar?
Acting President Du Wa Lashi La said at a meeting today that the NUG government welcomes and acknowledges the efforts made by China, a neighboring country, to solve the issue of the political crisis in Myanmar, the armed conflict that is becoming widespread, and the waging of the civil war.
China’s Special Representative, Deng Xijun, met with the Northern Alliance ethnic armed groups and the leader of the military council once in December 2023. In early March 2023, after meeting again with the leader of the military council in Nay Pyi Taw, a few days later, in mid-March, he met with the ethnic armed groups included in the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC).
After this meeting with the military leader, if we look at the meetings with the ethnic armed groups based in northern Myanmar, Rakhine and Shan states within a few weeks, it is estimated that this is another accelerated attempt by China to intervene in the Myanmar issue. The Special Representative of China met with ethnic armed groups that already have cordial ties with China rather than all ethnic armed groups in Myanmar.
There was no meeting of China with ethnic armed groups that have no ties to it, such as the CNF, PNLO, RCSS, KNU, KNPP and New Mon State Party (NMSP). Some of the ethnic armed groups have direct or indirect relations with the West, and they are the kind of organizations that host the NUG, which has friendly relations with the United States.
Recently, China’s Special Representative met with the Union Election Commission (UEC) in Myanmar. Although he met with the UEC appointed by the military council, he has not yet met with the political parties.
For China, the Myanmar political crisis does not just have an effect on the interests of trade and projects. Myanmar being its neighboring country with a border of thousands of miles, having the nature of being its sea outlets in some regions politically and geographically, and bordering with India, which has the potential to become a powerful country like China, make it clear that China is not in a position to completely ignore the Myanmar issue. China might assume that the Myanmar issue will have an impact on its interests in some ways.
On the other hand, the United States and China are two powerful countries competing in the world economically, technologically, and in terms of military power, so the impacts of global strategy can affect Myanmar’s politics.
China’s strategy for Myanmar, considering it as a neighboring country, cannot be the same as its global competitive strategies.
It is also important for China not to view the opposition forces against the military council as pawns of the United States and pawns included in its global strategy. It should be careful for Myanmar’s opposition forces, in other words, the anti-military council forces, to be seen only as a pro-federal democratic force and not as a figurehead of the Western group led by the United States.
It can be said that NUG’s welcoming of China’s attempt to resolve the issue is a diplomatically wise display and shows that it is not participating in the competition between the world’s powerful countries but rather places its own domestic matters first, second, and third in priority.
If Myanmar can consciously consider the fact that it is located between two powerful countries, China and India, then it will be able to avoid becoming a country or a battlefield that is used in the strategic contexts of world’s powerful countries.