Nation-State and Zomia: The Perplex Politico-Social Developments in Northern Myanmar and the Contradictory Myanmar-Sino Relations
J. Scott 指出，大陸東南亞地區在王朝時期，各王朝沒有實際直接治理領土邊緣地區，使邊緣地區的屬國或部落存在多重政治認同。如果兩大王朝交戰，邊緣地區人民可能利用自身的間隙地位，同時提供給雙方情報，或躲入更深山地區，以避免捲入戰爭。此種逃避國家治理的相對自主又隔絕地區，被稱為「贊米亞」。贊米亞一直持續到後殖民時代，國家彷彿不存在。事實上，以緬甸為例，殖民時期緬甸的贊米亞地區，沒有被國家治理，主因不在「逃避或拒絕」，而是英國分治政策的結果。殖民時期，殖民者將殖民地視為民族國家海外領土延伸，分別透過外部劃界和內部劃界，界定緬甸地理上的空間範圍，也標定英國對邊緣地區的宗主權。緬甸獨立後，贊米亞地區人民一度透過自身民族運動，追求自身民族國家。值得注意的是，部分武裝團體在中華人民共和國的支持下，成立緬共東北軍區，企圖改變緬甸此一政治共同體的地理—政治意義，即使緬共東北軍區瓦解，中國的影響仍繼續存在，使緬甸北部的贊米亞地區不僅呈現武裝團體和國家的互抗關係，也在某個意義上成為中國領土的延伸。
In mainland Southeast Asia, inhabitants in the peripheral areas between neighboring dynasties had acknowledged the suzerainty of and showed multiple political allegiance towards two or more dynasties. If the neighboring dynasties engaged in war, the peripheral people usually sheltered in remote mountain areas to avoid being drawn into the war. Such geographic space of fleeing state power and with relatively loose ties to certain ruling centers is termed by James Scott as Zomia , which had been lasted till the post-colonial time. Taking Myanmar as an example, the British had attempted to change Myanmar into its overseas territory by outer-demarcation and inner-demarcation, two of the political initiatives to make nation-state a geographical space with clear borderline and a community with common allegiance. By the same initiatives, the allegiance of the Zomia within Myanmar to the British were confirmed. After Myanmar acquired independence, the Zomia people once fought against the new nation-state with their own forces. But, their goal was to pursue their own political self-determination, rather than simply fleeing from state power. After 1968, some ethnic forces in Zomia at Northern Myanmar, with the PRC government’s supports, constituted the CPB Northeastern Command with the aim to change the geo-political meanings of Myanmar based on the idea of neighboring nation-state. After the CPB Northeastern Command dissolved, the PRC government has continued to exert its influences upon Northern Myanmar. The PRC’s influences to a degree represent the porousness and fluidity of borderline, as well as symbolically turned Northern Myanmar into the extension of the PRC territory.