Chinese crackdown targets Burmese

Source from DVB, 30 March 2012Refugees board a vehicle as they return to Myanmar from the border town of Nansan, China's Yunnan province

Refugees board a vehicle as they return to Burma from the border town of Nansan in China’s Yunnan province on 31 August 2009. (Reuters)

About 800 undocumented Burmese migrants in China’s Yunnan province have been arrested this month in what locals claim is the largest crackdown on the population by the police.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, Burmese resident in Ruili and Jiegao townships said the crackdown started during the middle of March following the murder of a Chinese police officer and a local woman who runs a money exchange operation.

“As far as I remember, the intensive crackdown started around March 14th and has simmered down in the past few days, but it’s still going on,” said Aung Kyaw Zaw.

The police cited the recent surge in crime as justification for the crackdown, says the resident.

Local officials claim that Burmese hit men from Shan stat, who were paid by a Chinese national to carry out the murder, killed the police officer in Ruili. No one has been charged or arrested concerning the murder of the business owner; however, local residents largely blame the crime on the migrant population.

Following the incidents, Yunnan’s police learnt there were about 30,000 undocumented Burmese migrant workers in the region, which led them to initiate the crackdown.

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