China Blocks Construction of Border Market Office in Muse

Armed Chinese soldiers backed by tanks came to the construction site to say that the land belonged to China, local witnesses said.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fully uniformed Chinese soldiers blocked the construction of a market office near the Sin Phyu—White Elephant—border gate in the Shan State town of Muse, local witnesses said.

“Chinese soldiers came to the Burmese side with guns and a translator. Through the translator, they stopped the construction by saying that the land belongs to China,” a Muse local, who was present at the scene, told NMG. “They also questioned who gave permission to build it. Their style was threatening,” he added, saying that the soldiers came into Burma through an unofficial entrance and that Chinese reinforcement troops and tanks were stationed nearby.

According to Muse District Administrator U Okkar, local authorities have sent a statement of objection to their Chinese counterparts.

“They must ask for permission from us ahead of time if they want to come here with weapons. They didn’t inform us. That’s why we already sent an opposition letter to them diplomatically,” U Okkar said.

U Okkar speculated that the Chinese authorities came to halt the construction of the office because they thought the construction was too close to the borderline.

“We have an agreement that both countries cannot build any permanent building within 10 meters of the borderline. In my opinion, they thought the construction of the building was within 10 meters of the borderline. That’s why they came to block it,” U Okkar said.

According to Muse locals, there was a dispute between China and Burma in the same place in the past, when the Sin Phyu fire department was proposed nearby.

In the end, the fire department could not be constructed. Locals said that Burma instead built a mobile firefighter unit after negotiations with Chinese authorities.