#china is flexing its muscles all over #South East Asia. The latest is that the Chinese army facing Burma has been put on high alert. The provocation is the heavy fighting going on at the border between Burma and China between the Burmese army and ethnic tribal rebels wanting an independent state. The entire area has been facing unrest right from 1948. The Burmese army is attempting to quell a separatist movement and the heavy fighting between the rebels and the Burmese army has resulted in thousands fleeing into China. There are unconfirmed reports of some shells landing into China from the Burmese side and this has incensed the Chinese who have called a halt to the fighting. This has been reported by Reuters.

Battle in Northeast Burma

Burma was a British colony and was granted freedom in 1948. The Northeast of Burma was a volatile area as thousands of Nationalist troops held on to vast territory. The Burmese army signed an agreement with the Communists army of China to attack the nationalists who were ultimately defeated, They lost, but their cadre escaped to the Thai-Lao border.

In addition, the local Kachin and other ethnic tribes launched a separatist movement against the Burmese government. The Burmese army has not been very successful as the tribesmen are on both sides of the border and have also received arms from China. The border is also not demarcated and has thick jungles and mountains, and as such the local rebels have terrain to their advantage. Last year in severe fighting 5 Chinese were killed on the border when the Burmese allegedly dropped bombs. This had infuriated China.

Burma's problem

This time the Burmese army has moved against the rebels who had attacked police and government establishments in the region. The attacks took place in the border towns of Muse and Kutkai. The Burmese army counterattacked and thousands have fled into China. In addition, shells and bombs have fallen on the Chinese side. China has called a halt to the violence and has put its army on high alert. Obviously, Chinese sympathies lie with the rebels and China has flexed its muscles.

Burma has for decades followed an isolationist policy and has no help coming from anywhere, including the USA. There is thus no counterpoise to China to help Burma in case the Chinese army decides to march into Burma like it did against Vietnam in 1983. #war