Losing east of Salween territory to China a weak argument

SHAN recent report of 3 June, regarding the 3 excluded Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) writes:

“The military doesn’t view them in the same way as it does to other EAOs. It hadn’t mind when the AA and TNLA were fighting alongside the KIO/KIA (Kachin Independence Organization/Army) But when they came to fight as allies of the MNDAA (more commonly known as the Kokang Peng Jiasheng group), it was different. The army suffered heavy casualties. Moreover losing Kokang, to the military, means giving away all the territory east of the Salween to another country. And if the CinC just let it happen, what would the Tatmadaw think of him?”

From it we could make out the argument of the Burma Army as viewing the MNDAA a China proxy, which is being categorically rejected, although provincial level private help from China or people to people sympathy could not be ruled out. In other words, official Beijing's endorsement is not in the pipeline but helping refugees and wounded would not be curtailed for humanitarian reasons, have always been its position, since the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kokang and Burma Army forces last year. Besides, Beijing said it wouldn't take sides and Burma Army can't expect China to help crush the MNDAA, emphasizing and urging instead to end the conflict through political settlement and negotiations.

Thus, the assumption that the territory east of Salween would be lost to another country holds no water, for either the Kokang or Wa have ever mentioned of wanting to be part of China. And since China's political and economic interest in Burma is not limited only to even Shan or Kachin States, but the whole country.

In short, China needs Burma to support its one China policy, South China Sea issue and fending off West containment policy implementation, apart from realizing its ambitious “one belt one road” economic development scheme.

As such, the Burma Army's reasoning is logically very weak and could only be taken as not wanting to end the armed conflict, perhaps to continue its important role in politics and as well, the whipping up of Bamar nationalism, portraying the Kokang as being foreign influenced troops, trying to chip away the country's territory. Actually, the conflict could be overcome by political means and negotiations, not through rhetoric nationalist slogan and unwise petty thinking.


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