China Sets Up Three Refugee Camps For Burmese In Anticipation

Written by KNG
Friday, 25 September 2009 16:31
In a surprise move, China is constructing three Burmese refugee camps at different venues on the border with Burma in its northwestern Yunnan province. Ironically, not even a single refugee has fled to the place till now, said border sources.

On direct instructions and allotment of budget by the Chinese central government to local authorities, the construction of three Burmese refugee camps began yesterday in three areas in the bordering territories of Mongkoe Defense Army (MDA) in Northeast Shan State in Burma, west of Salween River, said eyewitnesses.

Geographically, the Mongkoe is situated between the territories of two ethnic armed groups— Loikang-based 4th brigade of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in west of Salween River (Saphkung Hka in Kachin) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in east of the river.
092509-manghai-refugee According to a Chinese border refugee agency, they plan to accept 5,000 refugees in the border town of Manghai, 6,000 refugees on the border village of Pengjiazhai and 3,000 refugees on the border village of Xiaozhai. These refugee camps are expected to be prepared for Burma’s ethnic minorities from the villages in west of Salween River— Kachin, Shan, Akha and Palong, said residents of Mongkoe. According to Chinese refugee agent, China can extend the refugee camps on the border depending on the refugee population in the future.

Chinese authorities also said, they can extend the refugee camps in future and it will be prepared for ethnic minorities from the villages in west of Salween River— Kachin, Shan, Akha and Palong, said border sources.

An eyewitness in Mongkoe said, yesterday he saw 170 ready-made refugee tents were delivered to Manghai by trucks from Mangshi.

Sources close to the Chinese border security said, the three Burmese refugee camps are being constructed after local Chinese authorities in the border areas were especially invited to a meeting in Mangshi last week on the refugee issue by the Chinese government.

Again, Chinese border authorities are distributing to their civilians in the villages close to the Burmese refugee camps in Chinese territory, Chinese flags and 1,000 Yuan per (US $142) family since last week, said village sources.

A local military analyst said, it is unusual and is probably aimed to identify its citizens from Burmese citizens and avoid the future territorial conflict between the two countries if there is war on the border.

A former MDA officer in Mongkoe told KNG today, “China’s move regarding the Burmese refugee camps prove that both Chinese and the Burmese junta have an internal agreement should war start on the border between the junta and border-based ethnic rebels— the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) and the 4th brigade of KIA based in Loikang”.

The MDA officer added that war may resume between Burmese troops and ethnic armed groups on the border as soon after the completion of ceremonies on the Chinese National Day on October 1.

The Chinese central government granted 10 million Yuan (US $1,428,541) to Burmese refugees as soon as they fled from the territory of the ethnic Kokang rebels also known as the MNDAA in August, said a border-based Chinese refugee agent.

Border traders also said China has an eye on the Salween River which starts from China and joins the Burmese Ocean in the Mottama Gulf in Mon State in Burma for its proposed container ship route.

At the moment, over 60,000 Burmese refugees from the territories of MNDAA, UWSA and NDAA are already camped in Chinese border towns of Nansan and Ta-law (also spelled Daluo) since August, according to the Chinese refugee agent.

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