China urges Myanmar to punish perpetrators after plants smashed, burned
Published: Mar 14, 2021 09:26 PM Updated: Mar 14, 2021 10:26 PM

Myanmar Photo:VCG


The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar Sunday urged authorities in Myanmar to take effective measures to stop violence and punish the perpetrators after several Chinese-invested factories in Yangon were smashed, looted or burnt and some Chinese employees were injured.  

The targeted companies are in the Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone, Hlaing Thar Yar Township. Most are clothing factories, according to the statement the embassy issued on its website. 

The embassy has contacted the affected companies and requested local police to take action to guarantee the safety of Chinese companies and personnel. They also issued a safety warning to Chinese companies and nationals in Myanmar. 

Chinese investment in the textile industry in Myanmar has created nearly 400,000 jobs for Myanmar, and such behavior will also damage the interests of Myanmar people, the embassy said.    

The two factories have been named as Huanqiu and Meijie. Besides them, at least 10 other factories with Chinese investment were smashed or set on fire on Sunday, the Global Times learned from local sources. 

"The event is really bad," the embassy said, urging the Myanmar side to take effective actions, punish the perpetrators and called for Myanmar people not to be provoked and used.   

Two garment factories with Chinese investment in the industrial zone in Yangon were burnt and destroyed on Sunday afternoon. The Global Times learned from local sources that the lawbreakers were hostile local Myanmar residents.

About 20-30 motorbike riders with iron bars, axes and gasoline stormed the factories, which are located in Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone, Hlaing Thar Yar Township, a Chinese businessman engaged in China-Myanmar textile cooperation, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Sunday.

They smashed the factories and poured gasoline at the gates and the warehouses of the factories and ignited the fuel, the businessman said. 

"As the situation is growing more and more uncontrollable, it is still expanding and worsening," he said. 

Lu Tong, a Chinese citizen living near the industrial zone, told the Global Times on Sunday that a Chinese hotel was also smashed. From where he lives, he can see dense smoke pouring from the industrial zone and hear gun shots. 

The suspected arsonists are possibly anti-China locals who have been provoked by some Western anti-China forces, NGOs and Hong Kong secessionists, sources in Myanmar told the Global Times. 

The Global Times found that on Friday, two days before the attacks targeting Chinese enterprises started, Kyaw Win, the founder of a London-headquartered NGO in Myanmar named "Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)", released a tweet on Friday warning that "If one civilian killed one Chinese factory become ashes."   

Win's tweet was retweeted by the account of Milk Tea Myanmar on the same day, which asked in the retweet that "If one civilian in Hlaing Thar Yar killed one Chinese factory become ashes, do you agree?"  

For a long time, the West and some anti-China forces have been trying to make use of Myanmar as a strategic pivot to contain China. Amid the political upheaval in Myanmar this time, a flurry of rumors attacking China, including the so-called "Chinese aircraft transporting technicians to Myanmar" and "China helping Myanmar building an internet firewall," surfaced on social media, stoking hatred and anti-China sentiments among the Myanmar public.

Chinese and Myanmese experts reached by the Global Times previously said that some hostile forces - both in and outside of Myanmar - are deliberately making use of this opportunity to spread rumors against China and stoke hatred to distance Myanmar from China, Myanmar's largest trading partner and close neighbor, to contain China and undermine China's influence in the region.

The rumors are spread through Hong Kong secessionists and local NGOs, while inside Myanmar, the misunderstanding among some people toward China is being manipulated by radical groups, according to experts.