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Burning convoy near the Sino-Myanmar border


China is conducting combat exercises with its army near the border with Myanmar. This was announced by the People's Liberation Army on social media. The training follows after a convoy of trucks on the Myanmar side of the border area went up in flames on Friday.

Myanmar accuses rebel groups of being responsible for the attack. The hostilities not far from the border with China now apparently put Beijing on alert. A representative of China traveled to the capital Naypyidaw to discuss the security situation in the border area. Myanmar's military junta is actually considered a close ally of China. Recently, however, there have been increasing signs that Beijing's support for the regime could falter.

Manoeuvre to last several days

According to the Southern Regional Command of the Chinese Army, the exercises are intended to test, among other things, the border protection and firing capabilities of the troops. The manoeuvre is expected to last until November 28, according to the Reuters news agency.

A spokesman for the military junta said Myanmar had been briefed on China's exercises. These did not constitute a break in China's policy of non-interference in Myanmar's internal affairs. "The cooperation between the two armies is friendly," it said.

Myanmar's military has lost control of large parts of the country since the coup against the democratically elected government in February 2021, with fighting reported from 13 out of 14 states and regions. Various militias have now joined forces in their fight against the junta.

In the northern state of Shan on the border with China, the regime completely lost control after fierce fighting a few weeks ago. A coalition of several rebel groups claimed to have captured dozens of military outposts and blocked key roads connecting Myanmar with its largest trading partner, China. Border crossings were also occupied.

According to United Nations estimates, more than two million people have been displaced by the increasing fighting.