Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai met junta Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Soe Htut on Wednesday, their second meeting since March. The two discussed redoubling efforts to fight online scams, gambling and cross-border crime.
In Myanmar, Chinese-run criminal gangs based near the Thai border are operating telecom scams and luring workers from China by promising high-paying jobs.
Chen and Soe Htut previously met on March 23 in Naypyitaw and discussed matters related to gangs operating online scams at the border, border issues and cooperation between the two countries’ police forces. Chen urged Soe Htut to step up efforts to combat cross-border crime, online fraud, and gambling.
During his visit to Myanmar from May 2 to 5, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang also urged Myanmar to crack down on crimes linked to internet fraud along the border.
Qin, according to the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, pointed out that Myanmar’s border areas have long been home to gangs involved in telecommunications and Internet fraud, which have seriously infringed on the interests of Chinese citizens and are abhorred by the Chinese public. The Chinese government attaches great importance to and is determined to crack down on them, he said.
He asked Myanmar to take concrete measures and coordinate its efforts with various departments to continue advancing the China-Myanmar-Thailand joint combat operation, and rescue trapped Chinese nationals in a timely manner. The Myanmar side expressed its readiness to strengthen cooperation with China’s law enforcement and security departments to crack down on Internet fraud and other illegal activities and to maintain order in the border areas.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Chen expressed his appreciation for the junta’s cooperation and the “initial achievements” of specialized crackdowns on illegal activities including telecom fraud along the Myanmar border, according to the Chinese Embassy.
Soe Htut said Myanmar attaches great importance to China’s concern, and has strengthened crackdowns and launched joint campaigns with China and other countries.
Despite the difficulties, Myanmar will step up coordination with concerned countries and continue the crackdowns to further deter criminals and safeguard the interests of the peoples of the two countries, Soe Htut said.
Junta-controlled newspapers said Chen and Soe Htut also discussed matters related to apprehending fugitives, fighting drug production and trafficking at the border, and control of precursors and chemicals used in making drugs.
Chen also met junta-appointed Immigration Minister Myint Kyaing to discuss online scams and cross-border crime.
Major General Yang Yang, acting director-general of the Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, also met deputy junta chief Soe Win on May 30 to discuss border stability.