|Chinese there to prevent
The Chinese army's presence along the Sino-Burma border is to discourage
any designs by hard-liners in the military camp to stage coup on
the 'pragmatists' led by Gen Khin Nyunt, according to a ceasefire
leader who recently visited the border.
The commander, who claimed he had talked to one of the commanders
of the People's Liberation Army along the frontier, said Beijing
was worried relations with Washington might take a further downturn
if the situation in Burman ran out of control. "Right now,
reports are abound that Gen Khin Nyunt might be removed by Chairman
Than Shwe at any minute," he said. "In case there reports
come true, even those of us (that enjoy ceasefire agreements with
Rangoon) will be forced to review our stand."
According to his information, there are 4 regular regiments, each
1,200 - 1,500 strong, across the border opposite northern Shan State,
and another 3 opposite eastern Shan State. Shan State Army "South"
told S.H.A.N. earlier of the presence of 6,000 troops opposite northern
Shan State and another 10,000 opposite Eastern Shan State. (Ref:
PLA takes over border security, S.H.A.N., 1 August 2003)
"The removal of Khin Nyunt will inevitably result in the further
toughening of US policy towards Burma" added. "Beijing
wants to avoid that."
Gen Khin Nyunt, Secretary 1 and #3 man of Burma's Top Three, was
also trying to fortify his position, according to him. "He
had previously made an appointment to meet us on 27 July,"
he said. "But as he was not able to make it, the meeting has
been postponed to 14 August."
Shan academic and activist Chao Tzang Yawnghwe said on 2 August,
"What we think is that no one is in control and no one in the
junta can make important decisions. They mistrust each other and
are engaged in jockeying against one another."