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  • Writer's pictureMyat Tun Oo

Why should China talk to the NUG defence minister?

China has opened Pandora’s box in Burma by pursuing the criminals of online gambling. China did this just to arrest some criminals in Kokang but China has witnessed the collapse of Burmese army on its border. I am sure that this is not what China or India has expected so far. Now the Burmese army is so weak and facing its last days like the Qing dynasty.

So what options are on the table for China? I am aware that China has asked to meet State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has declined so far. In addition, Min Aung Hlaing has no plans to allow any inclusive election under 2008 constitution as China has requested. Min Aung Hlaing hates China and plans to establish deeper ties with Russia. Russia has requested to station its navy base and Min Aung Hlaing is in favour of it but he will allow it after changing the constitution. The army thinks that they can counter China by having closer ties with Russia. Russia has some technical officers stationed in Naypyidaw to advise how to bomb the opposition area like they did in Syria. Therefore, China has no leverage on the Burmese army without any military pressure.

I know that China has its reservations about the NUG and thinks the NUG is a pro western organisation. However, I would like to point out that the NUG has no help from Biden’s administration. Although there is a legislation to support the NUG and PDF in the US, Biden refused to send any equipment or help to the NUG. The main support of Biden’s administration goes to the Rohingya camp, NGOs in Thailand and some media organisations. There is not a single bullet, food, or any money provided to the NUG. Therefore, the NUG is hyped to be close to the US but there is no real help. As a result, Mr Mitch McConnell who is a staunch supporter of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is voicing his concerns about US’s administration reluctant to help the NUG.

It is obvious that the NUG wants federal democracy and its values may be closer to the West but the NUG is also very pragmatic political organisation. It recognises that the EU, UK and US are not helping with weapons but rather with vocal support and sanctions against the military. The NUG has the support of Myanmar people and it will gain more ground in Burma with/without the support of China.

I know that NLD CEC members are very pragmatic and they will support closer ties with China and Chinese Communist Party. China should talk to the NUG defence minister through third party in its border. The NUG Defence Minister, U Ye Mon, is now very close to China and China should talk to him what China wants and how China can support his army. China can unlock some third party to supply more offensive weapons that will change the game in Burma. China can also  explain what its concerns are, and find a better understanding and common ground between the NUG and China.

In Conclusion, Burma will move closer to a federal democratic country with or without the help of China, US, UK or EU. However, it will help China to secure its interest by talking to the NUG defence minister and supplying offensive weapons to the army under his command.

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