Myanmar’s military government have been holding emergency meetings as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates with the junta of the Southeast Asia nation said to be becoming increasingly concerned that Beijing could use these troubled times to invade its neighbour Myanmar as much of the world's focus is diverted.

The military government that seized power in Myanmar on 1 February 2021 via a coup that rocked the region now fears that China might be planning its own takeover charge, ostensibly because the Naypyidaw administration seems unable to guarantee the safety and security of Chinese assets, infrastructure and businesses in Myanmar.

Beijing has numerous investments in Myanmar, including oil and gas pipeline projects that supply significant volumes of gas produced offshore Myanmar and crude imported from the Middle East to southwest China.

These almost 800-kilometre long trunklines run from Kyauk Phyu in Myanmar’s Rakhine (Arakan) state to deliver their respective energy sources to Yunnan province in China.

Although resistance groups in Myanmar to date have stopped short of attacking the pipelines themselves and oil and gas continues to flow to China, there has already been a rebel attack on Myanmar security forces guarding a gas offtake station near Mandalay.

Beijing has urged Myanmar’s parallel National Unity Government to ensure its resistance movement does not harm Chinese investments in Myanmar, following a January attack on electricity pylons supplying power to the China-backed Tagaung Taung nickel-processing plant in Sagaing region (in Myanmar).

Myanmar’s military government has already decided to further step up security at Chinese-backed facilities, including on the key oil and gas pipeline infrastructure, reported Myanmar daily, The Irrawaddy, citing sources who requested anonymity.

Such earlier moves include laying landmines near a control centre for the oil and gas pipelines in northern Shan state near the land border with China, in an attempt to prevent attacks by Myanmar resistance groups.

Russia on 24 February launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, prompting widespread international criticism and the imposition of sanctions by many Western powers.

However, Myanmar military spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun subsequently told the Voice of America radio network that the junta supports the invasion.

“Number one is that Russia has worked to consolidate its sovereignty. I think this is the right thing to do. Number two is to show the world that Russia is a world power,” Zaw Min Tun was quoted by the VOA as saying.

Russia is one of the largest arms suppliers to the Myanmar military.

Myanmar army generals who hold bank accounts in Russia and local Myanmar businessmen who act as intermediaries between Russian arms manufacturers and the Southeast Asian nation’s military regime are extremely concerned about the recent developments in Russia, reported The Irrawaddy.

Anti-China sentiment has been simmering away in Myanmar since the February 2021 military coup, often not that far below the surface, with some locals believing the Beijing government had thrown its weight behind the military’s seizing of power from the democratically elected government.