China Asks Citizens to Leave Myanmar Border Area Over Security Reasons

Thu Dec 28 2023
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BEIJING: China’s embassy in Myanmar on Thursday urged its citizens to leave a northern district along the shared border, citing increased security risks as ethnic minority armed groups battle the junta.

Since October, the conflict has raged in Myanmar’s northern Shan state, involving the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), posing a significant challenge to the military junta.

These groups have seized key towns and border hubs crucial for trade with China. The MNDAA aims to retake Laukkai town, situated in a bordering district known for being under military-aligned militia control, notorious for activities like gambling, prostitution, and online scams. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, via its WeChat account, emphasised the escalating safety risks in the Laukkai district and urged Chinese citizens to evacuate promptly.

ALSO READ: Amnesty International Accuses Myanmar Military of Potential War Crimes in Rebel Offensive

Despite earlier reports of mediated talks and a “temporary ceasefire” agreement, clashes persist in Shan state, with the TNLA claiming the capture of additional towns. Analysts suggest that China maintains connections with ethnic armed groups in northern Myanmar, some sharing ethnic and cultural ties with China and utilizing Chinese currency and phone networks.

Tensions between Beijing and the junta have arisen over the latter’s failure to address online scam compounds in Myanmar targeting Chinese citizens. In response, protesters in Yangon accused China of supporting the ethnic minority alliance in a demonstration authorized by junta authorities.

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