A very good piece with sound analysis, and I agree with Mr. Mathieson's view of the situation. But I do think there is every chance we will see the "balkanization" of Burma (I refuse to call it Myanmar). [It is as ridiculous as the fascist Hindu racist Narendra Modi calling India "Bharat". Next to religion, nationalism, of any sort, drives deep divisions and wars. Nationalism and patriotism are false ideologies and paradigms.] I think we will see the making of the Yugoslavian crisis in Burma and in fact civil war once the disastrous, murderous junta is totally defeated and the struggle for power, more through guns than votes, will ensue, breaking up the The Brotherhood Alliance which, to all intents and purposes, is very much a marriage of convenience. In the long run it will not stick together (my view) for obvious reasons.

Not at all surprised by China's state of play in this conflict (no different to American and its allies' meddling). But the oil pipeline is one of the most critical factors for the Chinese economy that looks to have more than hit the skids, and the emperor Xi Jinping is struggling to find answers to putting a floor beneath the sinking Chinese economy. And energy is one of the main drivers of the Chinese economy, which explains why China has roamed the world and sided with notorious autocratic regimes and dictatorships in search of raw resources to keep its economy billowing pollution and ultra-cheap lousy goods through vast labor exploitation regimes). In other words, China needs a Burma that won't collapse into a protracted civil war. And even if one is avoided, it is most likely that any agreement between the invested parties will not last in the long run. Which again brings us back to what China will do about its influence in Burmas and especially of its "pig butchering" investments. This is no different to the hopeless weak and useless ASEAN countries (especially Singapore and Malaysia), who have investments in Burma that are, in my view immoral to the extent that they have inevitably lent legitimacy to the murderous Burmese junta.

As for Min Aung Hlaing and his underlings, as much as I would like to see them caught, tried (for want of a better word), lined up against a wall and shot down like dogs -- one by one -- I suspect Beijing will lend them safe passage and refuge in China. If it has with the 1MDB crook Jho Low, who hides in China like the coward that he is, why not the Burmese generals too?

Meanwhile, watch what India does on its eastern security flank ...

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Excellent comment. I made pretty much the same exact observation and analysis to John as well during internal discussions on this piece.

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