Bangkok, Dec 28 (EFE).- China has called on its citizens to leave the volatile northern Myanmar area bordering their country, entangled in conflict between rebel groups and the Myanmar Army amid ongoing mediation efforts by Beijing for a ceasefire.
The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar posted a message on its WeChat account (the Chinese WhatsApp) on Thursday, stating that “security risks have increased” for Chinese citizens in the Kokang region (in the northern Myanmar state of Shan), where a rebel offensive began on Oct. 27.
The message, shared on the Chinese social network, warned Chinese citizens in the Laukkai area, the border city in the Kokang region, to evacuate as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, independent Myanmar portal, The Irrawaddy, reported on Thursday that Laukkai is nearly under the control of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), one of the three guerrilla groups that launched the rebel offensive, known as “Operation 1027.”
Laukkai, recognized for hosting casinos and sites involved in cyber scams conducted by victims of human trafficking, is one of the key areas targeted by the Brotherhood Alliance, consisting of MNDAA, Arakan Army (AA), and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in “Operation 1027.”
Since the offensive began, spreading to various regions in the north, west, center, and south of Myanmar, the rebels, along with the pro-democratic Patriotic Defense Forces (PDF), have captured at least 24 cities.
The reach and the intensity of the offensive have grown despite temporary ceasefire made by China in mid-December, when it announced to mediate between the military junta and the Brotherhood Alliance, after which it has once again facilitated another meeting between the military and the rebels.
The relationship between China and the army in Myanmar, a country with which it shares 2,129 km of border, has been complex.
Beijing maintains a fluid relationship with the military junta. But some guerrilla groups, including those involved in the joint rebel offensive, have a long history of ethnic, economic and military alliance with Beijing.
The current escalation of violence, labeled by the UN as “the largest and most geographically extensive” since the 2021 coup, has exacerbated the ongoing guerrilla war in Myanmar. EFE