Air raid by Burma kills four in China
|A file picture shows a woman and child waiting to cross from Kokang in Burma to China after fighting restarted in 2009 when a truce between rebels and the Burmese government broke down. Photograph: AP|
March 14, 2015
Beijings summons Burmese ambassador and Chinese aerial patrols increase as tensions rise over operations against rebels in border region
China has summoned Burma’s ambassador for a meeting after a bomb from a Burmese aircraft fell in Chinese territory and killed four people, the foreign ministry in Beijing said on Saturday.
Burmese government forces have been battling rebels in the country’s north-east, on the border with China, since last month and China has urged Burma to “lower the temperature”.
The bomb fell on Friday in a sugarcane field near the city of Lincang, in the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan. Nine other people were wounded, state media reported.
The incident came a few days after a stray shell from Burma flattened a house in Chinese territory, prompting condemnation from Beijing.
Chinese vice-minister for foreign affairs Liu Zhenmin urged the Burmese ambassador, Thit Linn Ohn, to investigate the bombing and take steps to ensure the safety of the border area.
Tens of thousands of people, many of them ethnic Chinese, have fled the fighting in Burma’s Kokang region into Yunnan.
The rebels are from a group called the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, which is led by ethnic Chinese commander Peng Jiasheng.
The MNDAA was formed out of some of the remnants of the Communist party of Burma, a powerful China-backed guerrilla force that battled the Burmese government until it splintered in 1989.
The MNDAA struck a truce with the government which lasted until 2009, when government troops took over their region in a conflict that pushed tens of thousands of refugees into China.
Burma has accused Chinese mercenaries of fighting with the rebels, and has urged China to co-operate in preventing “terrorist attacks” being launched from Chinese territory.
China has denied that any attacks into Burma have come from its side.
China and Burma share a border 1,250 miles long (2,000km).
Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China’s air force, said in a defence ministry statement on Saturday that the air force had dispatched aircraft to patrol the border and would step up activities to protect the sovereignty of China’s airspace.