“Myanmar’s parliament has extended martial law for three months in a region along its border with China as clashes between government troops and a rebel group continue,” Reuters reports.
The Chinese military deployed fighter jets to patrol the country’s border with Myanmar after a cross-border bombing killed four Chinese villagers and left nine injured. Beijing warned its neighbor of “decisive action” if the incident is repeated.
“Myanmar’s ambassador to Beijing, Thit Linn Ohn, was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday, as Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin lodged a formal protest and demanded a thorough investigation into the incident,” Xinhua news agency reported.
On Friday, Myanmar’s warplane bombed a sugarcane field near Lincang city in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, the agency added.
The conflict between Kokang guerrillas and the Myanmar government has been ongoing for decades. The latest ceasefire was agreed to in 1989, but sporadic hostilities resumed in 2009 according to Russia Today.
Reuters reported that the U.N. has estimated 60,000 people had crossed the border into China due to the clashes, though some started returning last month.
“The next general election, scheduled for late this year, is not shaping up to be the benchmark of democratic consolidation that many Myanmar observers had hoped,” Min Zin* commented.
In the meantime investors are thinking how to position their money ahead of the elections which potentially could be a game changer to their frontier markets exposure.
*) Min Zin is a contributor to Foreign Policy’s blog Democracy Lab, and serves as a Myanmar expert for think tanks and NGOs like Freedom House.