In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping himself assured State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi that China would cooperate with Myanmar’s nationwide peace deal. But at the two Penglong conferences led by Su Chi, no such nationwide agreement could be reached. Critics believe that the situation has only worsened since China’s indirect intervention. It is believed that the calm and stable centrally administered for China’s Belt and Road project is better than Myanmar, an unstable country where the government, self-determination, and separatists all depend on it for peace and stability.
Myanmar’s policymakers know and understand this very well. Part of this is the decision to free the economy for foreign investment and to increase military cooperation with many countries. Although Myanmar’s cooperation with India has been going on for decades, the meeting between General Min Ang Lai and India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh during the Russia visit is expected to gain further momentum in the security, investment, trade and infrastructure sectors.