On Wednesday, stray artillery shells from the Myanmar border hit a nearby Chinese town, injuring five people, as reported by local media.
This incident occurred amid ongoing conflict between Myanmar’s military junta and rebel forces, despite ongoing negotiations.
A video shared on social media by the state-run Global Times showed an injured person on a pedestrian walkway in front of street shops, with onlookers shouting “Call the police!”
In the video, Global Times reported that Zhenkang city officials, located in Yunnan province, confirmed an artillery misfire from Laukkai in Myanmar’s Kokang region.
This stray shelling struck Nansan, a town under Zhenkang’s control, around 2pm local time on Wednesday. All five injured individuals were subsequently hospitalized.
On Thursday, China’s foreign ministry expressed strong condemnation of the stray artillery shells landing from across the border.
Kokang in Myanmar’s Shan state has a history of unrest. In 2015, cross-border shelling from this region during clashes between Myanmar’s army and rebels injured both Chinese and Myanmar nationals, leading to Beijing’s strong reaction.
Some of these battles in 2015 occurred dangerously close to the China-Myanmar border.
In 2009, conflicts in Kokang prompted tens of thousands to seek refuge in China, as reported by Chinese state media and human rights organizations.
Recently, the Chinese embassy in Myanmar advised its citizens to evacuate Laukkai due to increasing security concerns.
Since late October, the conflict between Myanmar’s military and rebel groups in the northern part of the country has intensified.
China, a neighboring country, has been advocating for ceasefire talks and has facilitated discussions between the conflicting parties.
The United Nations reported in mid-December that over 660,000 people in Myanmar have been displaced since October 27, bringing the total displacement in the country to a historic high of 2.6 million.
Chinese authorities have cautioned its citizens against traveling to northern Myanmar and advised those already there to seek safety or return to China.
China has also called for all parties involved in the conflict to show restraint and work towards a peaceful resolution in northern Myanmar.