Tag Archives: Lincang

As eastern China sizzles, Yunnan beset by too much rain

Summer rains are once again causing serious problems in Yunnan. Large swathes of the province have been pounded by incessant storms for more than a week, causing dangerous flooding and landslides. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue throughout the week, and those in the most waterlogged regions have been told to brace for repeated rounds of inclement weather.

While cities like Beijing endure a heatwave, 11 of Yunnan’s 16 prefectures are experiencing sodden and saturated conditions. All regions in the east — ZhaotongQujing and Wenshan — are dealing with severe flood conditions. Meteorologists warn that sections of the Shanghai-Kunming High Speed Railway “face a high risk of disruption from landslides”.

Wenshan in the southeast has been hit hardest. Website People’s Net reports fast-moving water killed four people in rural villages and swept away or damaged dozens of farms and homes. Flooding is being reported in five of the prefecture’s eight counties, and government response teams estimate damage to infrastructure alone has topped 220 million yuan (US$32 million). Agricultural losses have yet to be tallied.

image: iWeather

Meanwhile, in the southern prefectures of HonghePu’erXishuangbanna and Yuxi, mudslides remain a lingering concern. Landslides were reported across the mountainous and largely agricultural region, with some in Honghe closing highways and completely burying small country roads. In Pu’er’s Jinggu County, 11 centimeters of rain fell in under 24 hours, exacerbating already soaked conditions and forcing the closure of many mountainside roads.

Several thousand people have been relocated — especially in BaoshanDehongLincang and Nujiang prefectures. The precautionary measures went into place as emergency response teams assess dams backlogged with water, attempt to identify mountainsides where landslips may be likely and ascertain which rivers may soon overflow their banks. People traveling by car or bus are encouraged to check local weather conditions and stay alert for dangerous, weather-induced situations.

This article was originally posted here on GoKunming. It is reposted with permission of the author.  

Leave a Comment

Filed under SLIDER, Uncategorized, water, Yunnan Province

Myanmar accidentally bombs China, worsening tense relations

A Nanchang A-5C Fantan jet fighter commonly used by the Burmese military.

Fighting between ethnically Chinese Kokang rebels and the Burmese military spilled over the border into Yunnan on March 8. China Central Television reports a plane from Myanmar’s air force mistakenly dropped bombs on a Chinese village in Gengma County (耿马县), near the prefectural capital of Lincang.

The house of a civilian surnamed Luo was destroyed by one of the bombs, but no casualties or injuries were sustained. Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, confirmed the accident during a March 10 press conference, saying, “The Chinese side has expressed grave concerns to the Myanmar side, asking them to get to the bottom of this incident as soon as possible and take effective measures to ensure that such [an] incident will never happen again.”

Indeed, a similar mishap happened two years ago, when three errant mortars fired by Burmese troops exploded in a different Yunnanese village. On that occasion, Burmese troops were fighting against the Kachin Independence Army, which is in Myanmar’s Kachin State.

On Sunday, the Burmese military’s intended target was Kokang guerrillas fighting for the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA). A slow-burning civil war between the Kokang and Myanmar’s government has been ongoing for decades, and although a ceasefire was agreed to in 1989, hostilities resumed again in 2009.

The most recent flare-up in violence began last year when rebels ambushed and killed seven Burmese soldiers at an outpost along the Chinese border. The conflict has escalated further over the past month, causing at least 10,000 Burmese civilians to flee across the border into Yunnan to escape ongoing airstrikes.

The refugee situation, combined with the accidental bombardment of Chinese territory, has strained already difficult Sino-Burmese relations. Spokesman Hong voiced concern at his press conference, saying:

Conflicts in the Kokang region in northern Myanmar have been raging on for more than a month, disturbing the stability and normal order of China-Myanmar border areas. China once again urges relevant parties to exercise restraint, calm things down on the ground at an early date, and restore peace and stability in northern Myanmar.

Despite Mr Hong’s rather moderate tone, an accident such as this could seriously challenge China’s stance of non-interference — a cornerstone of Beijing’s foreign policy strategy. As journalists writing in The Diplomat recently pointed out, “It may be China’s state policy not to get involved, but that doesn’t mean individual actors from China are following suit”.

Making things more confused, China has been accused by members of the Burmese military of supplying Kokang rebels with weapons and other supplies. The allegations, which were categorically rejected by Beijing, are based in part on historical assumptions. In the past, before the 1989 ceasefire was signed, Chinese officials openly supported the pro-communist MNDAA, who are ethnically Han Chinese and speak Mandarin.

In addition to the official denials emanating from China’s capital, Kokang rebels have also disavowed receiving any military support. Nonetheless, Chinese authorities recently launched an investigation into the actions of Huang Xing, a former senior strategist from the People’s Liberation Army. He stands accused of corruption and leaking state secrets to Burmese rebels as long ago as 2009.

This article was written by Chiara Ferraris and originally published on GoKunming. It is reprinted here, with permission, in its entirety. 

1 Comment

Filed under China, Current Events, Myanmar/Burma, SLIDER, Yunnan Province