A total of 423 illegal weapons, including AK-47s, M-16s and Chinese pistols, have been recovered so far this year

NEW DELHI: EASY flow of Chinese weapons illegally into Myanmar and India is posing threats to regional security and stability, Intelligence agencies have flagged to the Indian Government. From the north-eastern States of India, a total of 423 illegal weapons, including AK-47s, M-16s and Chinese pistols, have been recovered so far this year. Intelligence agencies have also said that China is supplying arms and ammunition to insurgent groups on the Myanmar border as they pay good prices.

“Prominent insurgent groups, especially those from Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram, maintain regular contact with Chinese intelligence agencies and have benefited from Chinese largesse and weapons,” the agencies alerted the Government. The agencies have pointed out that training of insurgent groups in the northeast, provisioning of arms and ammunition and harbouring exiled militants and leaders have been recurrent facets of China’s ‘diplo-terrorism’ against India. Chinese weapons supplied through Bangladesh and Thailand clarifies that projects carried out by India in Myanmar are under threat. “Presence of an Indian project in close vicinity of the landmark China Myanmar Economic Corridor starting in Kyaukpyu is an excellent reason for China to stall India’s growth in the region,” the source said.

The source also stated that the Myanmar Army has acknowledged the ‘Hunting with the hounds and running with the foxes’ strategy of China, even to the tune of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing bringing up the issue with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2020. China had then categorically denied it. Situation in Myanmar Myanmar lies at a very strategically significant location. It provides an alternate land bridge to the trade routes of the Indian Ocean, easing the pressure on the Malacca Straits and is a trove of natural resources to fuel the growth of the landlocked Yunnan Province.

Moreover, Myanmar under Chinese sphere of influence helps stymie India’s growth in the region. Sources said that recently a large consignment of Chinese made weapons comprising AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, anti-tank mines, grenades and ammunition of a total value of approximately $1 million was seized in Mae Sot district on the Thai side of the Myanmar-Thailand border.