|Publications By Category|
|Publications By Type|
China Reform Monitor - No. 986
China eyes new arms systems from Russia;
Japan highlights role of Chinese paramilitary forces in maritime disputes
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
September 5, 2012
After a two-month investigation on July 9 Chinese police in Yunnan and their counterparts in Myanmar smashed a meth lab in Laogai, Myanmar, capturing 11 suspects, 347 kg of methamphetamine, and 120 kg of tramadol. The official People’s Daily reports that police successfully captured the kingpin, Mu Ronghong, in Lincang, Yunnan. Since the beginning of 2012 Chinese police have worked with counterparts in Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan to crack 11 drug cases. The use of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs has risen quickly in China. In 2008, crystal meth seizures in 20 provinces surpassed heroin seizures, according to the Ministry of Health.
Under pressure from Chinese authorities the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) – an ethnic rebel group fighting a guerilla war against the Myanmar government – will forcibly repatriate about 4,000 Kachin refugees from Yunnan. China has been pressuring the KIO to take the refugees back since June, although forcing them to return puts them in danger and creates a fear of forced deportation among ethnic Kachin in Yunnan. Refugees have not received humanitarian assistance from China and major humanitarian agencies have not had access to them since they began arriving in June 2011. Those repatriated from Yunnan will resettle at the KIO-run Lana refugee camp, near Loi Je, 16 km from the border. The KIO began building shelters there in July after the first round of resettlement talks with China, the Irrawaddy reports.
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency has published excerpts from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) document detailing the activities and tactics of China’s local civilian militias. According to the document, under PLA Navy orders Chinese militiamen posing as fishermen have undertaken aggressive actions against “enemy” forces. The military provides them weapons and military training for between five and 40 days a year, and can command them to engage in offensive actions. Militia units are organized into task-specific units, i.e. antiaircraft artillery, surveillance and communications. They also have computer technology units that gather enemy intelligence and conduct cyber attacks against enemy computer systems.
[Editor’s Note: Chinese militias are civilian paramilitary organizations mostly used to keep law and order. The PLA describes them as auxiliary and reserve forces. Their national ranks include 8 million mostly veterans and youth each with their own primary occupation.]
Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN has reported a series of Chinese military procurements from Russian arms manufacturers. Last month Russian state weapons exporter Rosoboronexport agreed to supply China with 55 Mil Mi-171E multirole transport helicopters and a large shipment of aircraft engines. China and Russia are also in contract talks over the new Russian Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter aircraft and Russia’s new S-400 “Triumph” surface-to-air missile system, which Interfax-AVN “could be signed in the foreseeable future.”
Authorities in Lianzhou, Guangdong are accused of covering up the severity of lead poisoning among local children. Officials acknowledge 18 severe cases of lead poisoning but residents say hundreds of children are suffering. In May, word spread online that many children had tested positive for lead poisoning, caused by pollutants from a local government-supported coal power station. After hundreds of villagers protested authorities shut the Lianzhou Power Plant in June and said 18 children had been treated for excessive lead levels. This week, however, 196 children on one street tested positive for excessive lead, based on normal levels of 0 to 100mg per liter of blood, and 95 children’s blood exceeded 450mg per liter; more than 200mg per liter can impair a child’s mental health and affect growth, the South China Morning Post.