China holds military drills along Myanmar’s border

Published : 02 Apr 2024 09:09 PM | Updated : 02 Apr 2024 09:09 PM

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting a two-day military exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday along the border near Laiza and Lwelgel in Kachin State.

A Southern Theater Command statement said the live-firing exercise would end at 6pm on Wednesday. Military spokesman Tian Junli said on WeChat that the drills would test rapid maneuvers and safeguard national sovereignty, border stability, people’s lives and property.

China’s special envoy to Myanmar Deng Xijun met junta boss Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw on Monday. The junta media said they discussed Myanmar’s “peace process”, bilateral cooperation in combating drug trafficking, online gambling and fraud and border trade.

Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has occupied all junta positions surrounding Lwelgel, one of Myanmar’s five trade towns along the Chinese border.

A Chinese citizen was killed and three others injured on November 4 by a regime shell intended for Laiza, where the KIA is based.

The Arakan Army (AA)’s offensives are advancing around Kyaukphyu Township in Rakhine State, where China has considerable interests.

The oil and gas pipelines, which supply landlocked Yunnan Province start in Kyaukphyu. Beijing is building a special economic zone and deep-sea port in Kyaukphyu as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. The AA has seized adjacent Ramree Township.

The PLA conducted live-firing border drills on November 25 during the Brotherhood Alliance’s Operation 1027 in northern Shan State on the frontier.

Five people were injured by junta shelling in Nansan town, Yunnan, in early January.

China brokered a ceasefire between the regime and the Brotherhood Alliance, which includes the AA, on January 11.