Govt Working With China on Border Dispute in Shan State

By Nyein Nyein 1 August 2014

Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin has told Parliament that the government is working with Chinese officials to resolve Shan communities’ complaints over the demarcation of the Burma-China border.

In May, Shan lawmakers raised the issue in Parliament, asking the central government to address the border dispute and explain its actions to MPs.

Some 470 Shan villagers from Namkham and Muse townships have complained in recent months that Chinese authorities put up temporary border posts that would supposedly place about 130 acres of their farmland in China.

Shane State authorities had reportedly ordered the removal of the posts last month. The border follows the Ruili River and runs just north of it.

Sai Pho Aung, a Shan Nationalities Development Party lawmaker told The Irrawaddy on Friday, that, “The minister’s answers relieve our concerns to some extent,” but added that the government needs to find a way to return 46 acres of land near Namkham and Muse towns, and 3.5 acres in a Muse Township village, to Burma.

“The Foreign Affair Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said borders officials of both countries are working together on this, but he did not give us a detailed explanation,” said Pe Than, an Arakan National Party lawmaker. “He only said that the dispute over border is due to the Ruili riverbank sliding and the changing course of the river.”

Lawmakers said border demarcation in the area was based on a 1995 agreement between Burma and China.