“It is mandatory from now on for Chinese tourists to send the advisory letter to the Chief of Staff (Army) Office before entering Burma.

Army Directorate restricts entry of Chinese travellers
by Myo Gyi
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 20:11

Ruili (Mizzima) – As of now Chinese travellers wanting to visit Burma through the border entry points must get prior approval of the Chief of Staff (Army) Office.

The new rule has come into effect from July 16 for Chinese travellers to Burma.

“It is mandatory from now on for Chinese tourists to send the advisory letter to the Chief of Staff (Army) Office before entering Burma. Their tour guide must escort them to Lashio first. If the persons in the list do not match with the persons at the exit point and someone is missing, the guide will be responsible for the missing person(s) and he or she will be interrogated. The guide must take full responsibility for all his guests,” a person close to Chinese traders told Mizzima.

An official of the Mya Padamya Travel Agency in Muse and a resident from Jie Gong, which is near the Sino-Burma border gate, confirmed the new immigration rules.

Chinese tourists have to first apply for approval from the CS (Army) office at Naypyitaw through the Immigration Department on the Sino-Burma border. They can enter Burma only after getting approval from the CS (Army) Office. Previously they could enter Burma easily with the help of travel agencies.

The restriction on visits by Chinese travellers with tour visas is because of visits by the tourists to restricted areas, the person close to Chinese traders said.

“Earlier, they visited Mandalay with ordinary travel permits. Then they visited restricted areas such as Pha Kant and the gold mines. Now the government has restricted their movement inside Burma,” he said.

Eyewitnesses on the border, however, said Chinese jade traders are still entering Burma as they did earlier.

Those who wish to visit Burma for other purposes need invitation letters from their concerned companies and departments.

“If they receive invitation letters from concerned departments for specific purposes such as visiting mining sites, exploratory visits, checking plots owned by their company, economic seminars, then they can get entry permits as either individuals or as part of a package tour. Such visitors must apply for visa at the Burmese embassies. As for border visits, these formalities are not needed. Tourism companies from both countries can arrange it themselves,” he added.

Moreover, illegal import of Chinese goods has been banned since early this month.

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