Fri 10 Aug 2007
Filed under: News,On The Border
China is wary of a full scale war between Burma’s ruling junta and ethnic insurgents resuming on Burma-China border before the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The one-year countdown ceremony for the games was opened yesterday, said local sources.
The Chinese government has unofficially requested both the junta and ethnic insurgents along the border to avoid a civil war before the Olympic Games next year, border sources told KNG today.
According to sources close to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Chinese government has been closely watching the KIO’s movements and has suggested that the KIO continue to take part the junta’s development programmes.
In April, Burmese military officials and Chinese officials met at Kunming in China’s Yunnan Province and discussed a possible war between ethnic insurgents and the ruling junta on the border, said a KIO source.
At the meeting, Chinese officials refused to accept the Burma military delegates request to close their border entrances and stop Burma ‘s insurgents entering China. The junta also informed Chinese officials that it will fight all the ethnic insurgents along the border if they keep refusing to surrender their weapons after the conclusion of the National Convention, border sources added.
The Chinese government has constructed roads and set up army bases along the China-Burma in northern Burma’s Kachin State and Shan State since 2005 as a precaution against border security and drug smuggling, said border insurgents’ sources.
While the final session of 14-year-old junta’s National Convention is underway at Nyaung Napyin Camp in Rangoon, the two strongest ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma- the KIO and United Wa State Army (UWSA) are threatened militarily and economically by the ruling junta, according to their sources.
Recently KIO officials told KNG that they have no reason to surrender weapons if the junta keeps denying autonomy for Kachin State which it has repeatedly demanded of successive ruling juntas.
Relations between KIO and UWSA are strong and they seem to be preparing their military units in a standby condition in order to resist inevitable military threats coming from the ruling junta, added border sources.
On the junta’s request, China has not only banned importing timber from northern Burma which had benefited insurgents along the border including KIO but also limited their travel inside China since 2005.