Artillery shells from Myanmar land in China wounding 5 people

Artillery shells from Myanmar land in China, wounding 5 people and angering Beijing – CNN


Chinese security personnel stand near a police vehicle after artillery shells hit Nansan, Yunnan province. This screenshot is from a social media video from January 3, 2024.

China has protested in Myanmar after five people were injured by artillery shells in fighting between the ruling junta and rebel groups that advanced into a small town near the border, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

An armed conflict between the military and rebel groups has been flaring up in northern Myanmar since late October, prompting calls for a ceasefire from neighboring China, which has also facilitated dialogue between the two sides.

“China … deeply regrets the Chinese casualties caused by the conflict and has already submitted serious representations to relevant parties,” said Wang Wenbin, the spokesman.

“China once again calls on all parties to the conflict to cease fire and cease fighting and take measures to prevent the recurrence of such cruel incidents,” Wang said at a regular news conference.

China will take necessary steps to protect the lives and property of its citizens, he added.

Earlier, the state-run Global Times newspaper reported that five people were hospitalized in Nansan, a subtropical city near Myanmar, after being injured by stray shells on Wednesday.

A video of the incident shared by the newspaper on social media showed a person lying on the sidewalk as people shouted, “Call the police!”

In the video, the newspaper added that officials in Zhenkang, a city in the southwestern Yunnan province, confirmed that the shelling came from Laukkai in Myanmar's northern Kokang region around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The incident came after the Chinese embassy in Myanmar last week urged its nationals to leave Laukkai as soon as possible, citing growing security risks.

Kokang, in Myanmar's Shan State, has been a troubled and troubled region for years.

In 2015, shells from the area also struck across the border in Yunnan as fighting broke out between Myanmar government troops and rebels, wounding a Chinese man and four Myanmar citizens and angering Beijing.

Some battles then took place up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the China-Myanmar border.

In 2009, clashes in the same area forced tens of thousands to flee across the border into China, Chinese state media and human rights groups said.

In mid-December, the United Nations estimated that more than 660,000 people had been displaced in Myanmar since October 27, putting the corresponding nationwide total at a record 2.6 million.

China urged citizens to avoid traveling to northern Myanmar and advised those already there to seek safety or return home.