Thanks to the meet-every-5-year congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that will be held two months from now, Chinese authorities have increased security measures along its borders with its neighbors, including that with Burma, according to Chinese security sources.
“This time it is different from earlier screenings,” said a source on the Yunnan-Shan State border. “At that time, we only need to know whether or not you carry valid documents. But now we want to know who you are.”
Tens of thousands of Burmese citizens were rounded up early in the year in Chinese towns along the Burmese border.
Beginning August, the emphasis is on Caucasian or Indian looking visitors, he added. “Even Burmese who are dark-skinned are being singled out to be thoroughly scrutinized and interrogated,” agreed a traveler.
With Burma, security is even tighter because of the continued fighting in Kachin and northern Shan states that share borders with China’s Yunnan provinces.
The CPC Congress in November, attended by more than 2,000 members is expected to elect the new 371 Central Committee members and the country’s paramount authority, the Politburo. Among those who will stand down to make way for younger leaders include President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
China is bordered by several countries: India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Burma.
Update (13 September 2012)
Burmese Muslims who are applying for border passes or extension of them at the Muse-Jiegao checkpoint are having trouble getting their applications approved. The restrictions began late last month and is reported to be connected to the heightened security imposed before the convening of the Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) next month. (SHAN)