China Complains After Shell, Gunfire From Myanmar Hit Border Town

By The Irrawaddy 12 August 2021

Chinese authorities have sent a complaint letter to the Myanmar military after an artillery shell and gunfire from Myanmar struck the Chinese border town of Wanding in Yunnan Province on two occasions last week. The incidents occurred amid fierce fighting between regime troops and ethnic armed groups in northern Shan State.

In the letter, Chinese authorities said they were highly concerned about the recent incidents, describing them as breaches of the China-Myanmar border agreement. China also warned the regime that if stray bullets and artillery landed in China’s territory again, it would “make the necessary response”, as the lives and properties of Chinese civilians in border areas were threatened.

Photos on WeChat showed Chinese troops dispatched to the border areas immediately after the incidents. Moreover, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned Myanmar Ambassador U Myo Thant Pe on Aug. 5 and urged the regime to stop the fighting immediately in border areas.

In the letter, China demanded that Myanmar investigate the incident and notify Beijing of the results as soon as possible.

According to Chinese authorities, an artillery shell landed in Wanding on Aug. 4 and bullets hit a private house there on Aug. 6, causing damage to buildings and fear among local residents. The clashes occurred near the border gate in Wanding, one of the major trade portals between the two countries.

In the letter China told the regime, “We hope that Myanmar would strictly follow the consensus between the two countries: put an end to the clashes and work together to maintain the security of the China-Myanmar border areas.”

According to Chinese citizens in border areas quoted by Chinese media, since early August, a series of clashes have occurred near the border in northern Shan State, with bullets and artillery from Myanmar landing in China quite often.

In response, the regime said the incident occurred during a clash after the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) launched an attack on a military convoy in the Kyukoke-Panseng area. It claimed the artillery shell and bullets were fired by the MNDAA, according to a leaked statement from the military.

It said in a statement that the military did not breach the border agreement, adding that the military would attack armed groups that threatened the lives of people and the stability of the border areas.

It also urged China to collaborate with the Myanmar military’s activities to fight against armed groups and prevent them from occupying bases in border areas.

In early August, hundreds of civilians from Kyukoke-Panseng and Mongkoe sub-townships were forced to flee their homes after clashes broke out between regime troops on one side, and the MNDAA and the Kachin Independence Army on the other.

The MNDAA said it launched attacks on regime troops after the military entered territory where Northern Alliance members are active.

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