Naypyidaw: Even as the world's eyes are fixed on ongoing rights abuses in Myanmar, China has tried to engage with the military regime in the Southeast Asian country while hoping to export military hardware to the junta.

Since the Myanmar military launched its "disastrous" coup last year, an UN-appointed independent human rights expert said that conditions have worsened, "by any measure".

"With each report, I have warned that unless UN Member States change course in the way they collectively respond to this crisis, the people of Myanmar will suffer even further," UN expert Tom Andrews told the Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.

He said that conditions have "gone from bad to worse, to horrific for untold numbers of innocent people in Myanmar". Andrews presented a grim assessment of 1.3 million displaced people.

Writing for The Irrawaddy news, a regional political analyst, since the coup in February 2021, Beijing has been careful to engage not only with the junta but to open an informal dialogue with the parallel National Unity Government (NUG).

"But China is not a trusted neighbour and Beijing's undisclosed support of the Myanmar military is being closely monitored. Unlike Russia, China cannot openly sell arms to the regime," said Yan Naing, a pseudonym for a political analyst on Myanmar and China.

Citing intelligence sources, Yan suggested that Beijing is considering using Pakistan as an intermediary to sell and export military hardware to the junta.

"With coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing making repeated visits to Russia with a shopping list for jet fighters, helicopters and missiles, China is concerned that it will lose Myanmar as a customer for its weapons," the political analyst said.

In recent years, Pakistan's security ties and defence cooperation with Myanmar have increased since the military takeover. Pakistan is reportedly delivering two JF-17 Thunder Block-II aircraft to the Myanmar Air Force, according to Yan.

He argues that the Military junta is also considering purchasing heavy machine guns and grenade launchers from Pakistan.

Yan states that security experts claim that China has covertly increased its engagement with the Myanmar military. Beijing has got Islamabad involved as a proxy to supply weapons to the regime, he adds.

The regional political further argues that Beijing is wary of the anti-China sentiment in Myanmar and the likely backlash if it is seen to be supplying arms to the junta.