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China reprimands Burma as shells cross border


China's foreign ministry has called for a ceasefire in Burma’s Kachin State following the landing of a Burmese artillery shell on Chinese soil on Thursday.
Thousands of Kachins gather at the Burmese side of the Laiza border to protest on Thursday, January 10, 2012. (Photo: Mizzima)
Speaking at a press conference, the ministry's spokesperson, Hong Lei, said, “China has lodged urgent representation to Myanmar [Burma] over the incident, to express grave concerns and dissatisfaction," Hong said, adding that China demands Naypyitaw thoroughly investigate and take every necessary step to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
 
Thursday’s incident marks the fourth occasion in less than a month that shells have fallen on the Chinese side of the border as Burma’s government forces continue to wage a campaign close the Kachin headquarters of Laiza, which straddles the mutual border.

Writing in The New York Times, Thomas Fuller said, “The Chinese response was unusually strong given the close ties between the two countries in recent years, and it suggested that China was growing increasingly impatient and nervous about the Myanmar government’s campaign against ethnic Kachin rebels.”

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also called for a ceasefire. “Burmese President Thein Sein needs to order his army commanders to respect the laws of war and end unlawful attacks on civilians,” said Phil Robertson, HRW's deputy Asia director. “Both the Burmese army and the KIA should take all necessary precautions to keep the tens of thousands of civilians in and around Laiza from harm’s way.”


For more background:

http://www.mizzima.com/special/kachin-battle-report/8740-burmese-jets-attack-kachin-positions-near-laiza-says-kia.html

http://www.mizzima.com/special/kachin-battle-report/8715-thousands-of-kachins-protest-at-chinese-border.html
Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:09 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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