Chinese Navy Ships Arrive in Myanmar Amid Heightened Tensions

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons (2013)

    The Facts

    • Three Chinese navy ships, including the destroyer Zibo and the frigate Jingzhou, docked at ports in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday afternoon, with a 700-strong naval task force on board to conduct joint naval security drills.

    • The vessels are part of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) 44th naval fleet, which has carried out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast since 2008. Earlier this month, they were sighted in the United Arab Emirates.


    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    These joint naval drills can only reinforce that Beijing doesn't care about the suffering of the Burmese people under the military junta's tight grip at all, focusing exclusively on its own economic interests — particularly on projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative. As the Spring Revolution gains momentum, it's clear that the PRC has chosen the wrong side of history.

    Pro-China narrative

    Beijing has long sought to foster friendly relations based on the principle of mutual non-interference, so it's utterly reprehensible to say that China wants to meddle in Myanmar's internal affairs. Critics may claim that the PRC has boosted support for an alleged favored side, but, in reality, its latest actions aim to deal with any unforeseen spillover from the conflict in that country.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Myanmar will no longer be classified as being in a state of civil war by 2028, according to the Metaculus prediction community.



    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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