China tightens border security
Thanks to the Beijing Olympics which is kicking off on 8 August, the Sino-Burma border though not close is unusually tight, according to sources.
30 July 2008
“The Chinese security has even closed some of the ferry crossings on the Mao-Shweli river (that runs between the two countries into the Irrawaddy),” said a businessman from Muse, opposite Ruili. “We are also seeing reinforced security forces.”
Further south, residents of Mongla, opposite Daluo, who normally went back and forth across the border, say they can no longer do it, as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had since mid-July dispatched hundreds of troops to the border. “Those who are caught are being detained at least for the duration of the Olympics,” said a Shan businessman who had closed his shop in Mongla to find work in Tachilek, opposite Thailand’s Maesai. “The border trade there has practically come to a standstill.”
An officer in the United Wa State Army (UWSA) also confirmed the news with further details. “We can no longer enter China further than Menglian (opposite Panghsang, the Wa capital),” he said. “In the past they used to have only one checkpoint between Panghsang-Meng Ah (Mong Nga) and Menglian (Mong Lem), but now there are three more checkpoints.”
All sources have not heard from Kokang, north of the Wa territory. “But you can bet that the situation won’t be any different from here,” said the Wa officer.
The Bejing Olympics whose opening will be graced by several international dignitaries including US President George W. Bush will conclude on 24 August.