Wednesday, February 9, 2011

China tightens security after media coverage of its military post on Burma border

Thursday, 06 January 2011 17:06 KNG

In the wake of the media coverage of China constructing a military post and several barracks for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on its border with Burma, the giant neighbour has initiated stringent checks on cross border travellers.

In the last week of December 2010, the independent media reported on the unusual activity in utmost secrecy, where in a day and night operation, China was constructing a military post and barracks on the Burma border

The military post and barracks of the PLA is under rapid construction in Manghai, the Chinese border town in the country’s southwest Yunnan province, which borders the Burmese border town of Mongkoe, which was the former headquarters of the breakaway Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in Burma’s Shan State, according to residents of the two border towns.

Both Burmese and Chinese cross-border travellers are being monitored and checked by Chinese border guards. They are checking cameras and mobile phones with audio, pictures and video clips in such devices after the news broke about the military post, said traders checked by Chinese authorities in Manghai.

In a deviation from usual practice unlicensed motorcycles are also being checked in Manghai Township and several dozen motorbikes have been detained by Chinese border guards, said local eyewitnesses.

The Thailand-based Kachin News Group broke the story of the Chinese military post being built on December 27. The story by KNG was picked up by India’s leading English language daily newspaper “The Times of India” on December 29.

The Times of India pointed out that China, India’s arch-rival, is constructing the military post in areas near the Indian border at the tri-junction of Tibet-Burma- and Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The Vahai on the eastern tip of Mizoram is the nearest Indian point from the PLA post, the newspaper said.

The report was hastily challenged on December 30 by Zhuang Guotu, Director of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies in Xiamen University in the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’ saying “the report was ‘groundless’ since neither China nor Myanmar has stationed large forces in their border areas.”

Bum Htoi in Mongkoe, a former official of the China-backed CPB, said the Chinese Communist government sanctioned the funds for construction of the border post soon after the Burmese Army captured the Kokang territory of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in August, 2009.

According to political sources, China will foment political instability in neighbouring Burma by arming militia groups in Northern Shan State if the country’s military leaders ignore Chinese protection to the pariah state for over 20 years by looking towards western governments now.

With stringent security by Chinese border guards, the four-storey military command post and several military barracks are under construction day and night at break-neck speed with over 50 workers toiling every day, said local eyewitnesses.

One PLA battalion will be stationed at the new border military post. The four-storey building under construction will have the battalion command office, it is learnt.

Chinese army puts up post near border

Manas Paul, TNN, Dec 29, 2010, 02.01am IST

AGARTALA: The new Sino-Indian partnership, premier Wen Jiabao said in India during his recent visit, is one of cooperation, not rivalry and competition. On the ground, though, Beijing's military build-up near India's borders continues.

China's mighty People's Liberation Army (PLA) is building a four-storeyed military facility at a Myanmar border town which is close to the Northeast, the Myanmarese media said on Monday.

The construction of the base, it added, has been on at breakneck speed since August and it won't be too long before it's completed. In its report, Burma News International quoted the Kachin News Group as saying that the facility will house ''several military officers on the border town of Menghai in China's southwest Yunnan province''.

Once completed, it will act as a command post for at least one PLA battalion. The report cited eyewitnesses and former Communist Party of Burma officials as its sources.

The area where the military facility is being built is opposite Mongkoe town in Myanmar's northern Shan State and close to the Tibet-Myanmar-Arunachal trijunction. The closest Indian point is Vahai on the eastern tip of Mizoram.

The report quoted Slg Bum Htoi, a military analyst based in Mongkoe, as saying that it was ''unusual for soldiers of PLA to be stationed near the troubled Burma border''. "I think Chinese troops are being stationed there to monitor foreign troops, especially US soldiers, should they enter Myanmar," he added.

Read more: Chinese army puts up post near border - The Times of India

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