What could happen next?
Operation 1027 has forced the junta’s hand in several areas, particularly in relation to the white-collar crime situation that has rankled China.
First, it replaced its top man in Kokang in northern Shan state, a member of the ultranationalist, pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party. Local media The Irrawaddy suggested the lawmaker, Myint Swe, had been scapegoated for failing to control the scam syndicates in northern Shan.
Last week, the junta arrested three alleged ringleaders and 286 individuals involved in these online syndicates.
It remains to be seen if ramping up crackdowns on scam gangs will help the junta back into Beijing’s good graces.
But there is still trust and support between the two countries, said Mr Amara Thiha.
“At the national level, communication is still there. There’s also news about Chinese naval fleets making a port visit to Myanmar,” he said.
Operation 1027 is also starting to show signs of de-escalation, according to the researcher.
He observed that no new conflict areas have emerged in recent days, and that the junta’s military reinforcements were “slowly but steadily gaining the upper hand”.
Not all of Myanmar’s more than 20 ethnic militias have joined the offensive either, for fear of the junta’s subsequent retaliation.
Even if the violence were to get out of hand? China can be expected to enter the fray, Mr Amara Thiha suggested, to mediate between parties and more crucially, ensure its economic and geopolitical interests are preserved.
Source: Channel News Asia