Religio-Cultural invasion in Kachin

N.B Chyoi / April 02, 2021

Opening Ceremony of China-Myanmar Oil & Gas pipeline

Recent developments in Kachin (after the Burma’s February 1st military coup) is a part of set agenda. China is not a welfare state nor it gives anything for free. Their business acumen must be appreciated as their investment in any form whether it’s infrastructure, community development or agriculture, it is purely business.

The traps can be in form of debt or joint ventures, initially it sounds good but after sometime we regret our choices but then options are hardly left to get out of this vicious cycle. Kachins have their due logging of teak, loss of soil fertility due to banana mono-culture and rare earth metals due to mining as we trusted the wrong.

Kachins and Shans were offered carrots in the form foreign education and bright prospects for our young generation. Technically we could not read the deal and eventually we have incurred big loss. An indigenous from Kachin or Shan is happy enough if he gets two meals a day but mind Chinese thinks of 20 years ahead and here the difference lies. But this needs to be stopped now, enough is enough.

February 1st Coup has changed the dynamics and now the relationship between Burma Army and Chinese is more glued than ever. China has now reversed the strategy instead of carrot, it is stick now for Kachins and Shans excluding Wa (They have impeccable loyalty towards China). China has recently warned Kachins, TNLA and MNDAA against their attacks on Burma Army or their supply lines would be plugged. Catch point is China over a period of time has gauged our dependence level and as well as the punchlines.

Burma Army is enjoying full patronage of Chinese and morale is all time high and well reflected in the speeches delivered by their Sr. Gen and Deputies. The volley of ground and aerial attacks over KIA posts around Hpakant Jade Mine and Myitsone Dam have been continuing as these are the two regions interests of interest.

On the sidelines, under Bamarisation, Pagodas are being erected by MA in different parts of Kachin and Shan. Nhkai Bum has been sacred to Kachins but now big Pagoda ia there similarly, Dragon stone in Putao has Pagoda and Myitsone has Hug Pagoda. This not stops here, slowly monks and nuns come to stay followed by Bamars from mainland, the objective is to outnumber Kachins and Shans in systematic way. The fight is not between Christianity- Buddhism but Bamar vs Ethnics. This trend is very disturbing and it could be vice versa in the future specially where Buddhists or Bamars are in minority in ethnic dominated areas and it could lead to inter religious clashes as seen in Rakhine State.

In last 2-3 years many Kachin and Shan girls have been taken to Yunan via Muse – Ruili in the name of marriages or employment whereas most of them end up in prostitution or as surrogate mothers. This is a big racket but sorry to say our own men and women are part of the racket.

Similar practices have been seen in China occupied Tibet and Xinjiang where Tibetan and Uighur women are forcefully married to Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and soldiers are encouraged to marry Tibetan or Uighur women and incentives in the form of promotions are extended. This will ultimately change the generation and voices would be suppressed for ever.

During 1967, Chinese were specifically targeted but this time their establishments remained in focus. In Yangon, Chinese factories were put on fire but surprisingly in Mandalay, where maximum investment is Chinese, no such incident took place. Doing business is good but it should be on ethical lines. Since the anti Chinese sentiments gripped the cities in Burma, Chinese are hardly visible on the streets, perhaps they feel insecure!

N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.

The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.