More than a hundred Chinese made military trucks were reported to have arrived in Muse, a bustling border trade town between China and Burma since Sunday, raising question whether they will be used in the war against Kachin Independence Army (KIA), according to local sources.
“Some say they are heading to KIA’s areas while others say they are to be brought to Naypyitaw,” an eyewitness said.
The 6 wheel Sino trucks are produced by Japanese Howo Company in China and exported to Burma by way of Jiegao-Muse.
In addition, hundreds of Burma Army soldiers are also reported to have been sent to the town to receive the trucks, according to a source.
The arrival of both military trucks and troops has fueled fear among the populace whether the war with the KIA may spread to the area, according to sources.
Recently, around 50 people in civilian clothes believed to be Burma Army agents are seen crossing the border each day following a report of a recent meeting between the Burma Army and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers, where the former had asked the latter to permit its troops and those of its allies to cross the border to attack and capture Laiza, the headquarters of KIA.
Phoe Than Chaung, spokesman for the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) commented that soldiers crossing to China territory is not likely to be for the purpose to attack the KIA but could be their holiday visit.
“I don’t think China will let its territory to become destabilized. If it does, its investment along the border will be affected and thousands of people will come to take refuge in its soil which is what it fears the most. China therefore will do everything to prevent incidents which can destroy its border stability,” he said.
The move by the Burma Army can only be one of its tactics and psychology warfare to use China and ethnic armed groups against each other. A larger scale offensive against the ethnic armed groups would have been launched a long time ago if the Burma Army really wanted to destroy ethnic armed groups, Phoe Than Chaung said.
“But I don’t think they will destroy them [the ethnic armed groups] as their existence justifies their own stay in power. If there is no civil war, there would not have been any reason to stay in power,” he explained.
According to him, ethnic armed struggles in Burma, which have taken place for over six decades now, were created by the military junta in order to expand and preserve its rule over the people.