Myanmar’s military said after staging a coup and enacting a year-long state of emergency on Monday that its actions were necessary to restore order and stability. But the takeover, involving the detention of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top lawmakers and the handing of power to army commander-in-chief Min Aung-hliang, only furthers uncertainty. The nation is struggling with a Covid-19 epidemic and has long been riven by poverty and ethnic strife. China, the country’s top trading partner and second-biggest investor, has understandably joined other governments in calling for the sides to resolve their differences to ensure political and economic stability. The military had cried foul over an election in November that gave Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) control of parliament. Rejecting election commission claims the vote was clean, the coup came on the day lawmakers were to have taken their seats, and troops pledged fresh polls would be held in a year. It rolls back the clock on years of political reforms to gradually usher in democracy, returning the NLD leader to detention and the army to a position it held for more than 50 years. It creates obvious domestic, regional and international concern. China keeps eye on Myanmar coup, but observers see no cause for action Myanmar failed to live up to its potential under previous military regimes, growth and development being hampered by self-serving generals. Beijing has offered hope, supported by the China-friendly policies of Suu Kyi’s government, through its Belt and Road Initiative that includes development of an economic corridor, deep-sea port, special economic zone, major expansion of the largest city, Yangon, and high-speed rail and other infrastructure. China, Myanmar and the region will jointly benefit. President Xi Jinping strengthened ties with Myanmar during a visit in January last year that marked the 70th anniversary of relations. Chinese support came at a crucial time, with Suu Kyi’s government widely criticised internationally for its handling of religious unrest that prompted 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar needs stability to overcome its numerous serious challenges; the coup only creates more unpredictability.