Beijing complains after landmine explosion

Beijing complains after landmine explosion

China said on Tuesday it had lodged a protest with Burma after a landmine injured a Chinese person on their common border, the latest incident of cross-border conflict to strain ties between the neighbours.

China has repeatedly demanded effective action from Burma to contain fighting along the border between the Burmese military and ethnic minority rebels.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the person was injured by a landmine on Sunday but she did not say exactly where the explosion happened.

“This situation is under further investigation,” Hua said at a daily news briefing. “We express serious concern over this.”

“The Chinese side has already made solemn representations to Burma and demanded that Burma take effective measures to avoid the future occurrence of a similar situation and prevent the conflict in north Burma from endangering the security of Chinese people’s lives and property.”

The Burmese military has been battling several rebel groups including at least two that operate near Burma‘s border with China, in Burma‘s Shan State and Kachin State.

Thousands of Burmese civilians have sought safety on the Chinese side of the border over the past few years because of the fighting.

Hua urged Burma to work with China to “safeguard the peace and stability of the China-Burma border region”.

When contacted by Reuters, Ye Htut, Burma‘s minister of information and spokesman for the president’s office, declined to comment.

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Last March, China was infuriated when five people were killed by stray bombs falling on its territory in Yunnan province during fighting on the Burmese side.

China and Burma share a 2,000km border, much of it remote and hard to access.

Burma‘s Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday the peace process would be the first priority of her new government that will take power later this year, following a landslide victory in a November election.

Read more about landmines here.

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