China Issues Kachin Warning as Fighting Intensifies

KIA artillery position in northernmost Burma. (Photo:

The Chinese authorities have issued a warning for its citizens in northern Burma to heighten security measures due to intense fighting between Burmese government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

“In recent days, the fighting between the Burmese army and local militia in northern Burma has reached new levels, the security situation in northern Burma has worsened,” read a notice by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

The ministry advised Chinese businessmen not to travel into northern Burma and temporarily abstain from investment projects there.

Last Saturday, the Chinese Embassy in Rangoon put out a notice advising citizens against traveling to Kachin State. Chinese citizens already in the area were advised to “take effective action to avoid injury or destruction of property.”

The embassy had not responded to inquiries from The Irrawaddy whether Chinese citizens have been harmed or property destroyed at the time of publication.

One Chinese citizen living in KIA territory, who calls himself Xiao Su, said that Burmese troops launched a major offensive against the KIA around April 7. The aim of the offensive was to take the Kachin rebels’ headquarters in Laiza, by the border with China.

The offensive comes after yet another round of preliminary ceasefire negotiations mediated by China broke down in March. A KIA spokesman said that his group approached the government about new talks earlier this week, although no date or location has so far been agreed.

The Burmese armed forces and KIA blame each other for return to war in June last year when a 17-year ceasefire agreement collapsed. Around 75,000 civilians have since been forced to seek refuge in temporary camps by the frontier.

On Thursday, Xiao Su reported that the KIA managed to stop the government offensive by pressuring army positions near the Kachin State capital Myitkyina. In Kambaiti and several other places, KIA troops are understood to have surrounded army positions. The KIA, he said, has also dispatched commandos into government-controlled territory in order to create disorder behind the front lines.

“Laiza is still safe,” a source told The Irrawaddy on Friday. Last week media reports suggested preparations were being made for a 2,000-man assault against Laiza.

Earlier this week, Burmese central government border, tax, migration and security officials fled from Banwa and Kambaiti areas to Tengchong County in China, Xiao Su said. They were being held there by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in a hotel and are awaiting repatriation.

According to an anonymous Chinese web post, around 1,000 people have crossed into China near Tengchong. The post also quotes a KIA central command order that “Troops near Chibwe and Kambaiti are to provide security to the evacuation of Chinese personnel.”

“In light of the chaotic situation in Banwa, in order to secure the lives of employees and the integrity of the machinery of China Power Investment, the KIA central command has issued the order,” the post read.

China Power Investment Corp is a Chinese state-owned company contracted by the Burmese central government to build dams in Kachin State, most controversially Burma’s largest dam at the Myitsone confluence.

“The Chinese are fully protected,” a source in Laiza said. “We want to be a good neighbor to China.”

5 Responses to China Issues Kachin Warning as Fighting Intensifies

  1. Chinese pays Burmese to get rid of Kachin. Kachin wants to be good neighbour and keep Chinese safe and protect Chinese machinery used to build dam to flood enormous area of Kachin ancestral land which no single Burmese care about.

    Are Chinese good guys or bad guys?

    No such question for the Burmese mercenaries.

  2. There are hundreds of those wannabe politicians in Burma.

    There is a mammoth war going on with likely damage to life and property as that is what happens in war.

    And there is a total silence.

    Are any human left in Burma?

  3. George Than Setkyar Heine

    The Chinese communists are SMART ASSES no doubt.
    They certainly KNOW the people of Burma have the ethnic Chinese running amok in Burma in their CROSS HAIRS today.
    Bribing Than Shwe with 30 Billion Yuan and other proceeds from Chinese projects (Myitsone Dam and others) and interests (pipelines, rails, roads etc.) the Chinese are HOLDING SWAY over ALL ASPECTS of LIFE of the people of Burma today as all know.
    BUYING EVERY THING IN SIGHT and EXERCISING ALL THEIR Than Shwe GIVEN RIGHTS as well, the ethnic Chinese are RUNNING WILD in Burma while MAKING Burmese WOMEN their WIVES as well.
    And BEATING UP the Burmese people in the heart of the cities and in PUBLIC as well and BULLYING the people ECONOMIC WISE are COMMON SIGHTS in Burma these days.
    Of course, the police and armed personnel POP UP in situations when the Chinese are in danger of getting their JUST DESSERTS/DESERTS.
    In these cases the Chinese would be SPIRITED AWAY to SAFETY and the local people would have to FACE the LAW (Than Shwe/Thein Sein’s) of course.
    Hence, the CLARION CALL “ANNIHILATE THE NEAREST ILLEGAL CHINESE” is making rounds in Burma like late Gen. Aung San’s “KILL THE NEAREST ENEMEY” in the lead up to his ANTI-FASCIST Japanese Campaign in the waning days of the last Great War in Burma.
    Hence, BEST BET for ethnic Chinese in Burma is to FLEE (BURMA) BEFORE THEY FEEL THE HEAT of the Burmese WRATH, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER I say.

  4. The Burmese leaders must think seriously on the present war on the possible casualties to attack Laiza. Government troops at least to sacrifice 30,000 soldiers’ lives, which will also not bring the peace, but more serious uncontrollable terrorism. Such investment in the present civil war is not worthwhile and stupid. The differences of two sides also is very narrow according to the past peace talks, the only difference is to have a witness in the peace accord. Government do not want to have a witness, an obvious insincerity. Do not care the lives of human being is a custom of the Military leaders ready to waste the lives of the young men. How long these crazy stupid blood smear war mongers will be in power.

  5. It’s all C’s in China. It is a country ruled by Coercion Corruption and Control and the Cunning Chinese are good at Cheating and Copying. Why should they be protected in Burma. All they want is exploit the country, using the classical technique of divide and conquer.
    All illegal Chinese, especially the dam workers should be kicked out of the country. Are the Kachins scared of them? It’s your land, protect it from the Chinese invasion.

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