Myanmar’s Crisis & the World

Beijing Boosts Ties With Myanmar Military’s Proxy Party Amid ‘Poll’ Plan 

30 November 2022

A consul from the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar paid a call on U Khin Yi, the new chairman of the military’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), on Tuesday. The meeting, which was the first between the two sides, focused on cooperation and came after the junta said it was planning a “national election.”

China’s political consul Lin Tao reported on the outcome of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and called for continued engagement between the CPC and USDP, wrote U Khin Yi on his Facebook. USDP senior members were also present at the meeting.

However, the Chinese Embassy’s Facebook page, which reports regularly on the embassy’s activities and cooperation with Myanmar’s junta, did not report the meeting with U Khin Yi.

The USDP headquarters in Naypyitaw has barely received Chinese visitors since the coup, and Lin Tao’s visit came amid raging controversy over the junta’s plan to hold what it calls an election next year. In April, Chinese Ambassador Chen Hai visited junta-appointed Union Election Commission chairman U Thein Soe and asked about its plan for the so-called election.

The United States and others in the international community have rejected the junta’s plan as a fraudulent attempt to legitimize its power that will only fuel the cycle of violence in the country.

China has officially recognized the military regime and calls it Myanmar’s government. But it has also voiced concern over the regime’s attempt to dissolve the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD). Beijing has invited both the USDP and NLD to a meeting of the CPC and political parties in Southeast and South Asia.

The USDP responded to its heavy defeat in the 2020 general election by alleging electoral fraud and holding pro-military rallies targeting the UEC in Yangon, before the armed forces seized power on Feb. 1, 2021.

U Khin Yi, then USDP vice-chair, masterminded the rallies and was rewarded with a ministerial post in the junta regime. U Khin Yi has now taken a more important role for the regime, steering the military’s proxy USDP for the so-called election.

With the military guaranteed 25 percent of seats under the constitution, Min Aung Hlaing is dreaming of becoming president of Myanmar through next year’s putative vote.

Beijing has been a good friend to successive military dictators in Myanmar, and Min Aung Hlaing’s regime is no exception.