Myanmar border conflict riles heavyweight neighbour China

Residents who fled from conflict areas near the Myanmar and Chinese border arrive at a temporary refugee camp in a monastery in Lashio, northern Myanmar on February 20, 2015Bloody conflict in a remote corner of northern Myanmar has spilled violently across the border with China, risking a rift with the mighty neighbour and threatening peace efforts with an array of rebels. Myanmar’s army is battling ethnic-Chinese rebels in the Kokang region of Shan state, with aerial bombardments and close-quarter combat, just as the quasi-civilian government is grappling to end decades of border insurgencies in fresh ceasefire talks that began Tuesday. China mobilised fighter jets after a bomb apparently from a Myanmar warplane landed in a sugar plantation in Chinese territory on Friday, killing five Chinese farm workers. He said it was the “worst security incident” since Beijing’s embassy in Myanmar was attacked in 1967 during an anti-Chinese riot, although he believes the border unrest will remain contained for now.

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