NEW DELHI, July 25 - The recent seizure of a large quantity of illegal Chinese weapons in the Mae Tao region on the Thai side of the Myanmar-Thailand border has given rise to India�s fear of another attempt to reignite insurgency in its Northeast region, an Amsterdam-based think tank said.
�While preliminary investigations have suggested that the weapons may have been destined for insurgent groups in Myanmar, the development has nonetheless raised antennae within security circles in New Delhi,� South Asian Studies (EFSAS) has said.
While confirming the report that the weapons seized from the Myanmar-Thailand border belonged to China, sources from an ethnic armed organisation based on the border, said, �They are not the weapons currently used by the Arakan Army (AA). The weapons manufactured by the Wa (United Wa State Army) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) are not up to the mark. They are not automatic. The seized weapons are original and Chinese-made.�
Citing a study titled �China�s diplo-terrorism in Myanmar� by Anders Corr, a former civilian worker for the United States� military intelligence, the EFSAS said, �China was supplying funds and sophisticated weaponry to the AA, a terrorist organisation, in a bid to expand its diplomatic influence in Myanmar.�
An object lesson in diplo-terrorism is the leverage over Myanmar and India that China gained by arming the Arakan Army, operating in the corridor from Northeast India over Myanmar�s Chin and Rakhine states to the Indian Ocean.
The EFSAS opined that while China�s acts of violation of the international order are increasing since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, �it is high time that state sponsorship of terrorism by China is acknowledged, exposed and accorded the serious corrective attention that it eminently deserves.�
According to Corr, China�s conception of its role in the world seems to be guided by exactly the zero-sum conflict over territory and influence that it accuses others of fomenting. �It does not limit itself to soft power. Rather, Beijing associates with the lowest-level forms of terrorist and gangland violence in order to attain its diplomatic objectives,� he said.
The Amsterdam-based think tank recalled US Senator Larry Pressler as saying, during his visit to Kolkata in 2002, that China was the world�s major source of small arms proliferation that was �fuelling conflicts from Morocco to Malaysia�.