Myanmar nationals are flocking to the Chinese border – risking scams, exploitation and arrest in search of jobs – but limited border crossings and fierce competition mean many leave empty-handed and deeper in poverty.
Hungry for cash and unable to collect tax in resistance strongholds in Sagaing, the regime has taken the unusual step of revoking sought-after liquor licences in the region and transferring them to compliant businesses in Yangon.
Despite struggling to keep the lights on, the military regime has unveiled plans to electrify the nation’s transport system, with many of the initial import permits going to companies close to the generals.
A Chinese state-owned company and the military regime are quietly pushing forward with a railway line that would run through active conflict zones, after lengthy delays due to Myanmar’s wariness, COVID-19 and then the coup.
While national attention remains focused on the Myitsone dam, Frontier visits one of the six other mega-dams north of the Ayeyarwady River confluence that could resume if conflict between the Tatmadaw and Kachin Independence Organisation is resolved.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.