The political agenda of the ethnic groups residing in northern Myanmar bordering China has undergone yet another change since the appointment of Chinese Special Envoy, Deng Xijun to Myanmar.
The FPNCC, backed by China, is a coalition of eight significant ethnic groups, or more accurately, “ Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs),” led by the United Wa State Army-USWA. The statement made following the conclusion of FPNCC conference in March (15-16, 2023) at Pangshang in Shan State established that China aim to maintain the Bamar-Ethnic conflict alive so that her interests are protected. The remarks also reveals that EAOs are not particularly concerned with the “ Spring Revolution” but their own agenda of power sharing remains paramount.
The importance of Northern Myanmar lies in its rich natural resources wealth. Neither China wants to part with that nor wants anyone else to venture into. China is happy with current system of revenue sharing.
Before the rest of Northern Burma becomes a Chinese colony, the Generals in Nay Pyi Daw need to get their acts together. In every way, Wa is independent, and others are seeking the same arrangement. Analyzing recent events, whether they are political or connected to the infrastructure developments, clearly sends a message that this region of Burma is going out of hand. In the past 70 years, residents of this area have also come to the realization that little is expected from the “ Bamar heartland” . They now realize that the stepmotherly attitude should end with the foundation of the “ Federal Union,” despite the fact that generations have been lost in the armed conflicts without any lasting peace. This was not accomplished by NLD alone, and NUG is now in appeasement mode.
Elections would be held in the second half of this year since the military junta is more focused in consolidating its position of authority. The proposed PR system will ultimately aid the junta in maintaining control over its opponents. The military administration is well aware of the difficulties in northern Myanmar, but they do not wish to exacerbate them more because doing so could spark anarchy, especially now that resources are few. They are including Russia in an effort to restrain China’s growth. The future will determine whether this tactic is successful or potentially counterproductive, and its ramifications. China is moving quietly and cautiously in Myanmar as lot of investment have been made in the recent decade but outcome is not so encouraging and some of the projects have been shelved. China is promoting PPP agreements while reducing G2G investment in Myanmar.
After the conclusion of FPNCC in Pangshang, the top leadersship of EAOs was summoned to Kunming. This meeting was aimed to decide upon the next course of action as China knew that State Administrative Council (SAC) may interpretate the complexities of the Pangshang meeting. The objective is to build pressure upon SAC before elections and control the mandate in Northern Myanmar. China understand better that Military junta is engaged with resistance forces at many fronts and at present moment they can’t afford to open more fronts. So China wants to bargain through EAOs.