China Conducts Military Drill Along Myanmar Border

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China has started military exercises along its border with Myanmar at a time when there is ongoing fighting between rebel forces and the ruling military junta. The Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture in Yunnan on Monday announced that a live-fire exercise would be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday in two bordering counties with Myanmar. During the exercise, people will not be permitted to enter five designated areas in Yingjiang and Longchuan or take photographs or fly drones.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theatre Command announced on Tuesday that its army and navy would participate in the exercise to test their capabilities of swift manoeuvre, precise destruction, three-dimensional sealing, and joint strike. The spokesperson, Tian Junli, stated that the troops are always prepared to respond to various emergencies and safeguard national sovereignty, border stability, and the safety of people’s lives and property, as per the command’s official WeChat account statement.
In November last year, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carried out live-fire drills in a border region. This followed a major offensive against the junta by an alliance of three armed groups in the Kokang region of Shan state, which borders China. The exercise was aimed at helping the PLA prepare for potential emergencies and ensure border stability.
China watchers have noted that this particular type of exercise is not common, with the last one reportedly taking place in March 2017. This was shortly after an attack by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army on Laukkai, which resulted in the loss of over 30 lives. Laukkai is the capital of the Kokang region.

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