Locals say the incident is indicative of difficulties that occur regularly at the Burma-China border.
Unrest broke out at Muse’s Sinphyu border gate between Shan State and China on Friday morning, after two vehicles blocked the entrance, making it difficult for people to enter Burma from the Chinese side.
The incident occurred at around 6:30 a.m. Chinese police attempted to remove the drivers from the vehicles in question, leading to discontent from the crowds.
“Chinese police came to the Burma side and try to pull out the driver. People were crowded in the area. It turned into a riot,” witness Sai Aik, who was waiting to cross into China at the time, told SHAN.
A video clip of the police pulling the driver out of his car has spread across social media networks, with Burmese nationals describing the scene as a Chinese breach of the border.
Sai Aik and other locals said that the Chinese police should have contacted Burmese authorities and had them solve the problem.
“It looks like Chinese people can do whatever they want to Burmese people. This incident happened in front of a crowd of people. I want the government to understand how Burmese people are suffering every day at the border area,” Muse local Sai Lon told SHAN.
SHAN tried to contact the respective authorities in Muse, as well as local parliamentarians for comment on the situation, but at the time of reporting had not received a response.
“I go to work in China every day. Chinese authorities have set up more restrictions at the entrance gates. It’s really difficult to go to China,” a local man who is a daily laborer in China told SHAN. “I think the government needs to solve this problem. The government needs to negotiate with the Chinese authorities.”
Other changes are also being put into place at the border. Chinese authorities now permit trucks and civilians to cross the border at the Mang Weing gate on the Chinese side until 9:30 p.m. since May 15. They have have allowed private cars, small vehicles and members of the public to cross from the Sinphyu and Nangdaw gates until 8:00 p.m.
China used to keep the three border gates—Mang Weing, Sinphyu and Nangdaw—open until 10:00 p.m. in Burma.