Beginning in September 2023, Muse, a commerce hub on the Sino-Myanmar border, saw a number of raids on illicit casinos, betting dens, and dance bars (KTV) by China and Myanmar’s joint enforcements to stop crimes ranging from cryptocurrency scams to narcotics use. Over 250 people were detained, the majority of whom were mainland Chinese (186) who were sent back through the Shweli checkpoint. This exposed Chinese syndicates all over Myanmar. “ Qiyin Shwe” , a new Chinese drug’s has become popular despite some casualities.
Similar worries are felt by residents of Tachileik’s trijunction area. The usage of drugs by young people as well as rising drug trafficking are both targets of civil society campaigns. As a business town with a migrant population from Thailand, China, Laos, and Myanmar, Tachileik collaborates effectively in all illicit or international activity. The people involved in the narcotics and guns trade benefit from the inadequate border administration and border’s porousness.
Following the coup, Chinese activities, particularly those from Yunnan, significantly escalated in Kachin and Shan State in northern Myanmar. After coup, China has aggressively invested in Myanmar. Chinese see Myanmar coup as a chance to expand without much opposition. The Junta is still under pressure, thus it is given priority to clear foreign investments, particularly those from China and Russia ignoring the public sentiments.
Recent trips by Myanmar’s electricity/power minister to inspect hydro projects in Shan state are a definite sign that, despite the country’s current power crisis, development on stalled hydro projects involving China will resume. Due of the ease with which projects are approved, the Department of Investment Company Administration (DICA) appears to be more lenient towards China. The reports from the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) from agencies are frequently disregarded for obvious reasons.
The entire northern region of Myanmar will soon become part of China. Chinese people are involved in cultural change as well as business. Chinese eateries, educational institutions, and temples all advertise China. People are becoming victims as a result of Myanmar’s poor economy following the coup and its citizens’ willingness to accept any work in order to survive.
A recent trip to Lashio town on the Oriental Highway showed how Chinese construction projects are reshaping the city. The workers are not of Burmese descent, and heavy equipments are everywhere. Chinese immigration is being carried out methodically alongside the building of infrastructure, commerce, and unions with locals. Chinese people enter Myanmar without any sort of identification and stay there for years by greesing the palms of the SAC authorities.