China Urges Myanmar to Cooperate on Border Stability

    China Urges Myanmar to Cooperate on Border Stability
    Photo: Jie Zhao/Corbis News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong has called on Myanmar to "cooperate" to "maintain stability" along both countries' borders after a Myanmar rebel group claimed the trade town of Chinshwehaw last week.

    • Thousands of Myanmar nationals have fled the country's province of Yunnan following the beginning of "Operation 1027" by the ethnic minority "Three Brotherhood" Alliance of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance, the Arakan Army, and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army in the northern state of Shan.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Current events in Myanmar will have Beijing worried, particularly with conflict escalating to the extent of key trade locations now being lost to a rebel offensive. Having committed vast amounts of money to its Belt and Road Initiative as well as its neighbor's military regime, growing violence in Myanmar places future PRC plans at risk. Consequently, it's likely that China will put to an end any future tests of the authority of Myanmar's junta; there is too much to lose for China not to ensure regional success.

    Anti-China narrative

    As long as Myanmar remains in a fluid state of weakness, it's a neighboring country that the PRC may influence and shape at will. Chinese weapons are extremely prevalent in Myanmar's border areas. Current fighting in Myanmar's north may play to Beijing's advantage, despite continued public rhetoric of peace and reconciliation. The PRC could certainly gain a Machiavellian foothold in its Southeast Asian neighbor.

    Establishment split



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