Burma to Strengthen Pipeline Security Under Chinese Pressure
Kyaukpru: Burmese military authorities are planning to beef up security for oil and gas pipeline projects on Madae Island in Arakan State due to Chinese pressure, reports a police officer.
The source said that China had raised concerns over security risks at its pipeline projects in Arakan after a series of bomb explosions at the Chinese hydropower dam project in Myitsone in northern Burma’s Kachin State.
“Authorities’ plans for strengthening security for oil and gas projects are now underway as China expressed concerns for its pipeline projects in Arakan after deadly bomb blasts at its Myitsone Dam project this past April,” the officer told Narinjara on the condition of anonymity.
The officer added that a large police station is now under construction and nearly 100 police personnel will be deployed to safeguard the Chinese projects on Madae Island.
China National Petroleum Corporation has begun construction in February on two oil and natural gas pipelines and a deep-sea port on Madae Island in Arakan’s Kyaukpru Township, in collaboration with Burma’s Asia World Company.
According to the local villagers, there is anger over the Chinese projects on the island as the Burmese military authorities and Asia World Company have evicted nearly 50 families from their homes and confiscated 30 acres of arable lands for the projects, without compensation.
The villagers, however, also said that there is no local armed group or organization that is capable of attacking the Chinese projects in Arakan State, which is ruled under high security. They are concerned that the security reinforcements for the project will result in more violations and restrictions against villagers in the project areas.
Currently, there are Burmese navy headquarters, three army battalions, and several police stations in the areas near Madae Island in Kyaukpru Township.