The Shan State government met with representatives of China’s Yunnan Province’s trade department last week to discuss reopening the China-Burma border.
Dr Myo Tun, minister of social affairs for Shan State, told SHAN they discussed ending the ban on border crossings.
After an 87-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19 in Muse at the end of April, the Chinese government closed the border between Namkham and China. Yunnan Province declared an emergency order threatening to imprison anyone crossing illegally. Police were stationed at entry points between the two countries.
Sai Than Myin told SHAN earlier in the month over 100 officers were guarding the border. “They’re really afraid of Burmese nationals crossing into China.” He was one of many farmers forced to throw his produce in the river after discovering the border was closed when he arrived in early May.
Under the border closure, farmers are allowed to have a Chinese national drive their truck over the border if they have already secured a sale for their product. But Sai Than Myin was hoping to sell his corn after arriving in China.
“We waited five nights to sell our corn in China, but when we couldn’t cross the border it rotted or dried up. And we had to throw it in the Ruili River or onto the roadside,” Sai Than Myin said.
He hoped the government would resolve the border closure problem because many farmers were in debt.
Dr Myo Tun told SHAN they reported what was discussed with Chinese officials with the Union government.
Soe Nyunt Lwin, planning and finance minister and Sai Seng Tis Lon, electricity and energy minister, both for Shan State, attended the meeting with the Chinese officials in Chin Shwe Haw in Kokang self-administered region in northern Shan State.