The Kokang casino dream

Local politicians in a border region known for its frequent outbreaks of violence hope to transform it into the “next Macau”, but will have to overcome instability, politics and corruption to achieve their vision. By NANDA | FRONTIER A group of heavily armed gunmen sneak into town and storm three casinos. A pitched battle ensues; […]

Shan State’s Peace and Tea Leaves

Among Myanmar’s many agricultural products, tea leaves hold a lot of potential for export markets because they are organic product grown naturally, an official with the Myanmar Tea Association says. However, development of the sector is tied to conflict in Shan State, one of the main growing areas for the crop in Myanmar. If a […]

NLD to look West, but not ignore its tough neighbours

  Revered in the West almost as much as at home, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi may steer Myanmar’s foregin policy to a westward pivot to some degree, although the Nobel Peace Prize winner has already shown she understands the realities of dealing with powerful Asian neighbours. The importance of relations with Beijing was emphasized […]

Laukkai casinos thrive under military

Despite nine months of military rule and being declared illegal, the notorious casinos of Laukkai are still thriving in the conflict-torn region on the border with China. In their crisp uniforms, the hundreds of young men and women who work as croupiers have become a well-recognised symbol of the town. Police officers of the Kokang […]

Why the dragon and the democrat have to tango

When a global icon of democracy visits China—not exactly known for its democratic credentials understandably—all heads turn. Precisely so, on the heels of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s maiden visit to China (she leads Myanmar’s National League for Democracy, NLD), her first since she was released from house arrest in 2010. It materialised […]

More Chinese Citizens Injured in Spillover From Myanmar Conflict

On May 14, several Chinese citizens were injured during a Myanmar government shelling operation against armed ethnic rebels. Radio Free Asia, citing local sources, reports that eight people in the township of Nansan were injured in the blasts. Witness reported five separate explosions in a half-hour period on the evening of May 14. One resident […]

China wants to invest in Dawei deep-sea port and Thilawa Industrial Zone

President U Thein Sein met with State Councillor and Secretary General of China’s State Council Mr. Yang Jing, at the Presidential Palace on Monday, 11 May 2015. Discussions centred on investment in industrial zones and the 21st Great Silk Waterway and the Great Silk Road. Myanmar has a possible link with the two because there […]

Myanmar becomes a major producer of heroin: TNI

The Transnational Institute’s recent report says Myanmar has become a major producer of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and drug injection has been blamed for the spread of HIV/ AIDS. According to the report, drug production and consumption trends have changed over the years. Myanmar, currently the second largest producer of raw opium after Afghanistan […]

Questions Remain Over Chinese Involvement in Myanmar Violence

Violent clashes between government troops and ethnic rebels have continued unabated in Myanmar’s northern Shan state since February 9. The fighting, which pits the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) of the Kokang ethnic group against the national army, has sparked accusations that China has a hand in the conflict (the Kokang are ethnically Chinese). […]

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

YANGON— There are ongoing clashes along the Myanmar-China border between Kokang rebels, led by the 85-year-old ethnic Chinese warlord Peng Jiasheng, and Myanmar’s military. Peng has long been suspected by the United States as a major trafficker of opium and methamphetamines. At least 130 people have been killed in the recent fighting and as many […]