Muse border dispute delays Myanmar-China tourist gateway

The completion of a tourist gateway between Myanmar and China at Muse, Shan State, is being held up by negotiations over border demarcation. Though there are already three gates in the border town for the flow of goods, the fourth, now under construction, would primarily be designated for tourist use.

Vice president U Sai Mauk Kham paid his third visit to the site, in Muse Central Economic Zone, on December 19 to check on progress. “The two governments are negotiating to demarcate the border line. I hope agreement will soon be reached,” he said, adding that attempts to build the gate in 2004 and 2011 had foundered over disagreements concerning the exact border line. “We don’t want any more delay, so the Union government is trying to find a way to resolve the matter. We hope the regional government will play its part too,” said the vice president. Extensive cross-border trade already passes through three gates, namely Nandaw, Sin Phyu and Mant Wane. “We allowed for a 10-metre space on either side of the border line [for discussion purposes], but the Chinese side breached that rule,” said U Ngwe Soe, project director of New Starlight construction company, which is building the gate. “We have built the gate on our side, for the benefit of international tourists wishing to come and go. This would require us to sign an agreement with China, so that tourists passing through from China can enter Myanmar and other countries through the gate.” This in turn would increase the flow of foreign currency into Myanmar, as well as improving trade flows, he added. Despite the lack of any progress on the Chinese side, Myanmar has finished 70 percent of the construction.-Asfar

Source: The Financial Express

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