The wily ways of a Myanmar-China border town

One of many towns of the Myanmar-China border, Bhamo, Myanmar has long been a hub for illegal trade with China, including illegally logged charcoal currently sold. Most of the charcoal is bound overland for brisk business with China, yet Bhamo still finds itself without enough money coming in. Bhamo has a long history of diversifying […]

How the new vehicle import policy could disrupt the car market

On October 16, the Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles Importing officially released a set of new rules stating that only left-hand-drive vehicles can be imported into Myanmar from 2018 onwards. Those rules have since ignited much criticism from car traders and other stakeholders who foresee the new import policy as having a disruptive impact on […]

License revocation for distilleries that breach rules on waste management

Distilleries that fail to adopt standards in discharging their waste water will have their licenses revoked, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Soe said to the Pyithu Hluttaw Session yesterday. The minister made the statement in response to a motion urging the union government to take action against distilleries that fail to observe the […]

Booming Chinese Demand For Jade Fuels Armed Conflict And Entrenched Corruption In Myanmar

From the garden deck of his office, Yup Zau Hkawng looks over one of the greener cities in Asia. Myitkyina is the capital of Myanmar’s Kachin State, its wide boulevards lined with trees. The sleepy town boasts a bustling downtown market painted vivid green, just a few blocks from the modest but charming central library, […]

Myanmar a geopolitical battleground for China and US

Myanmar will continue to be a geopolitical battleground for China and the United States as long as the civil war between its government and ethnic rebels persists, according to a commentary from the Beijing-based Sina Military. The ongoing strife in Myanmar, which has never really stopped in the last 60 years, is not merely an […]

Cutting down Myanmar’s forests a hard knock life for Chinese

“Dangerous places hold a lot of opportunity, so everyone wants to get a piece of the action,” said Liu Wei (pseudonym) in an attempt to explain why he goes logging in northern Myanmar, in an interview with the Chinese-language Beijing News. The local militia grant them permission but logging activities are forbidden by the central […]

Over 100 foreigners arrested for illegal logging in Myanmar

More than 100 foreigners, most of them Chinese, were arrested in northern Myanmar in a crackdown on illegal logging. The wire news agency quoted the army-run Myawaddy newspaper as reporting that a total of 142 people, including 102 foreigners, were arrested during a military operation against logging in restive Kachin state between January 2-4. Documents […]

Yangon bomb accused tells court he faced death threats

A man charged with allegedly carrying out bombings in Yangon in October 2013 has told a court he was told he would be killed if he didn’t plant the devices. Saw Myint Lwin is accused of placing bombs at Western Park Ruby restaurant in Ahlone township and Traders Hotel on Sule Pagoda Road. While the […]

Security a Concern as Jade Mining Set to Resume in Hpakant

YANGON — Recent fighting between ethnic rebels and government troops in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township has raised security concerns, with jade mining operations set to resume in the area next month. Large-scale mining in the jade-rich hills of Hpakant was suspended in 2012, shortly after a 17-year-old ceasefire broke down and conflict erupted between the […]

The smuggled stone that was once more precious than gold

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is one of the world’s largest Jade producers – but with trade bound by international sanctions, many of the precious gemstones are smuggled out of the country. At first, I think it’s a waterfall. A wave of liquid sound comes towards me over the brackish waters of the Irrawaddy River. […]