On This Day

When Myanmar Rallied the UN Against the Chinese Nationalist Army Invasion

By Wei Yan Aung 17 April 2020

YANGON—On this day in 1953, Myanmar filed a complaint with the United Nations over the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang’s invasion of Myanmar.

U Myint Thein, who served as Myanmar’s first ambassador to China under both the Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong governments, submitted hard evidence to the UN General Assembly in New York, including photo evidence, documents and testimony. All 59 countries that were then members of the UN, except for China, voted in favor of a resolution calling for the withdrawal of Kuomintang troops from Myanmar.

Kuomintang troops first fled into Myanmar in 1950 from Yunnan Province after they were defeated by the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese civil war. With the support of the US, the Kuomintang used Myanmar as a base to make numerous unsuccessful attempts to invade Yunnan.

Though the Myanmar government demanded that Kuomintang troops leave the country, the Chinese nationalists rapidly expanded their forces to some 12,000 troops and invaded northern, eastern and southern Myanmar while engaging in the opium trade. In response to popular opposition to the Kuomintang in Myanmar, the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, launched Operation Nagar Naing (Conquering of the Dragon) in March and April 1953 against invading Kuomintang forces in Shan State’s Mong Hsat. The Tatmadaw suffered a heavy defeat.

This forced the Myanmar government, then run by U Nu and the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League, to focus on more diplomatic measures, including the complaint at the UN. In response to the UN vote, a four-party military commission representing Myanmar, Thailand, the US and the China was formed. However, the commission failed to serve its purpose and the Kuomintang utterly refused to retreat.

From 1954-55, the Tatmadaw then fought to drive the Kuomintang troops out of Myanmar and into Thailand, eliminating the threat of the Kuomintang to Myanmar.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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