A call for Chinese to take up arms in Burma

Kokang: an ethnic Chinese-inhabited region in northern Burma

In the late 1960s, when the frenzy whipped up by the Cultural Revolution hit its peak, thousands of young Chinese crossed the border to join Burmese Communist Party guerillas. Indoctrinated with Maoist ideology, they believed they were fighting for a global communist revolution.

With Burma communists losing ground in the civil war, China shifted its foreign policy from support for the BCP to recognition of the military junta. Most of the Chinese "internationalist fighters," by then war-weary and disillusioned, repatriated or emigrated to a third country.

But others who were the backbone of the BCP's armed forces chose to stay. Ironically, those former overzealous communists also played a key role in the 1989 mutiny that brought about the BCP's collapse. Some of them even became drug lords who lived off heroin trafficking.

From the former bases of the BCP rose four self-administering zones. One of them, Kokang, is inhabited largely by ethnic Chinese and has maintained close ties with China. In late August, when clashes between Burmese government troops and Kokang forces broke out, it also caused great concern on the other side of the border.

Since the incident, a mass email has been circulating on the Internet. Reflecting on history, the letter, signed by an organization called the Global Chinese-Kokang United Alliance, calls for the Chinese volunteers to follow earlier generations in taking up arms to save Kokang from the brutal rule of Burmese government:

Dear compatriots:

Global Chinese-Kokang United Alliance is urgently seeking help and support from all Chinese people of the world! Please forward this letter to any Chinese compatriots that you can contact.

The Burmese government has been enforcing an anti-Chinese policy. This is what the Chinese volunteers who went to Burma in the 60s fought against. It is the blood of tens of thousands of them that ensures the existence of self-governance for the Chinese community in northern Burma.

As you read this letter, Chinese people are being raped and killed. The Burmese government has violated international law and sent out death squads manned by large number of condemned criminals, using Chinese civilians as human shields. This provocation has compelled Chinese forces to fight back.

The Chinese are a peace-loving people who want to live peacefully. However, all our goodwill offerings are met with nothing but a hail of stones. The 1998 Indonesia massacre targeting the Chinese is an example of how being soft and compromising only leads to foreign peoples trampling upon you, and we will not allow this kind of organized killing to happen again.

Only the strong are respected! The ultimate means of preserving peace is to end war with war, to meet violence with more violence. To avoid the mutilation, killing, and rape that the Chinese living in Burma face, we plead with all Chinese individuals and organizations to declare war against the Burmese junta.

Global Chinese-Kokang United Alliance is currently building a Chinese volunteer force of 100,000 strong to engage the Burmese government troops in ground battles around the Burmese-Chinese border. Please contact soldiers, veterans, police officers, People's Armed Police members, military reserve members, private security companies and everyone else that has the training of fighting, especially fighting in jungles.

Every one who want to join us can start now, to go to the border and wait for further orders. Here is a list of people with special knowledge that we badly need.

# 60/100 mm mortar sight setters;

# machine gun operators, scouts (perfectly corporal-level veterans), snipers;

# 40mm gun operators;

# 82 recoilless gun operators and people with other military training.

The Alliance is also receiving military resources and money donations. Details will be released through

The border has been closed so here are a few things that you should know:

1. First you need to go to Yunnan. Avoid big cities. Choose counties instead. The big cities are more controlled. Research on the Internet before you start. Avoid talking with strangers because your accents may raise suspicion. The comrade who was arrested by the plain-clothed policemen is an example. If you want to go with a partner, find someone that you know. You can take care of each other after you enter the Wa State.

2. You can also enter the Wa State through Lao and Thailand.

3. Don't use any public communication tools, such as mobiles, fixed telephones, QQ, Tom-modified Skype (the original English version is fine), and all free domestic email services as well as Yahoo's mail service.

4. Use Gmail and Hotmail. MSN should be used with caution. Since Google made the promise of Do No Evil, we can trust it as long as it holds that promise.

5. There are plenty of weapons. International arms merchants keep the supply flowing. In terms of logistics and supplies, the Alliance is seeking contributions from the International Chinese community. During the Anti-Japanese War, Chinese people donated fighter planes; now if all the Chinese hold on to each other, we can eliminate the dictatorship of the military junta and open a new era for Chinese in Northern Burma.

6. Keep in touch with the Alliance. Send an email to the address you subscribed to when you have a problem. Don't release your contact to anyone, including the Alliance. Email only, please.

Send this email to others as fast as you can!

Links and Sources
There are currently 21 Comments for A call for Chinese to take up arms in Burma.

Comments on A call for Chinese to take up arms in Burma

totally absurd. wild accusations. i'm a Chinese too living in Yangon.

Those Wa leaders are the drug lords and disgrace to the Chinese community living all over the country. "US Congressional Research Service describes the UWSA as “the largest of the organized criminal groups in the region,” (Irrawaddy, 2009)

The Wa generals are just trying to protect their self-interests. Nothing democratic. They are now claiming ethnic cleansing to achieve some attention from the internatinoal community.

Other Chinese are safe and sound. I don't support the government but this kind of cheap tricks are getting old.

Is this even real? Some of it seems comical:

"Use Gmail and Hotmail. MSN should be used with caution. Since Google made the promise of Do No Evil, we can trust it as long as it holds that promise."

And isn't Hotmail part of MSN?

If mainland china really pushing this thing , i'm sure burmese ppls will support and even join the fight to Wa and Kokang ..we all know , they won't still survive that long , without China support.China should really stop it's someone internal affair. Army was playing big role in burma because of it's arm struggle with those ethnic groups. If china never been support those groups , they wont exist and burma also dont need that big army and we already have been in democracy country.

Yeah, I think it's high time someone made a "blood-diamond" film about the jade trade. People here in China have absolutely no idea about the connection between this beloved stone and all the chaos across the border.
Eric, what sources did you use for your info about the BCP? The Cultural Revolution connection is interesting, but a lot of the autonomous areas have no connection to that, and a lot of the ethnic Chinese were there long before that.


I was aware when I was writing the piece that lots of the ethnic Chinese living in the northern Burma have been there for a long time, even for centuries if it is true that they are the descendants of the Ming exiles.

There are articles online, including personal accounts of the former Zhiqing returned from Burma, about the history of BCP and the guerrilla warfare which lasted from late 60s through the 70s. I have added some links to these sources at the end of the post.

"And isn't Hotmail part of MSN" - when Chinese people talk about MSN, they almost always mean the MSN Messenger IM software, not services operated by Microsoft (actually MSN Messenger is now called Live Messenger or something, but people still call it MSN). Unlike many web-based services (including Hotmail), MSN Messenger doesn't encrypt messages, so it's possible for an ISP to listen in to what's being said.

This is really quite a post. It's worth noting that from 1949-1951, there were roughly 200,000 various anti-communist militia members vaguely associated with the Guomindang and U.S. intelligence that made regular raids into Yunnan along that same border. A couple of years ago a 党校出版社 scholar published a book praising Mao's efforts to smash the counterrevolutionaries near Burma and nationwide in that period of history. (The book has the heart-warming title of 大镇压。)

But the best sources on the anti-communist guerrillas of that region in the era just after 1949 are (perhaps not suprisingly) actually in French. See Charles Bohlen [Charge d'Affaires in Paris] to Department of State, "Information Obtained from the French Ministry of Freogin Affairs Regarding Chinese Guerilla Activites on the Mainland," March 29, 1951, U.S. National Archives RG 59, 793.00/3-2951.

A more accessible source is the reportage of Amos and Lynn Landman from late 1950 in the PRC entltield _Profile of Red China_; pp. 181-182 deals with the restive southwest.

I am a local-born 3rd generation Malaysian Chinese. We are sick & tired of endless discrimination & persecution by the majority
Muslim Malays, let alone their misrule & rampant corruption. Many of us cannot but dream that a Chinese-dominated Govt be established which will then make Singapore's achievements seem insignificant. Most SE Asian natives are really a bunch of lazy & useless bureaucrats unfit to run a modern & efficient govt. This is not a racist statement. One has to live in this region to have the experience to say so. SE Asia was traditionally a Chinese backyard before the arrival of Western imperialism. It is time for China to reestablish its influence by creating pro China govts or, alternatively, at the very least, help its compatriots gaining their rightful positions as lawful citizens in their places of birth free from racial persecution by their local regimes.

In this respect, I strongly urge the Chinese govt to tacitly back those ethnic rebel groups in Myanmar to attain genuine regional autonomy if not outright independence. When China was weak, it was unable to protect its overseas assets including its compatriots. When it becomes strong again, do behave like a great power like what the British did by establishing a string of permanent British possessions like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US, Falkland etc. Throw out the useless self-delusive so-called Confucianist virtue of being nice to one's neighbours in return for reciprocality for the rest of the world will never appreciate it, let alone play by its rule.

Interesting conflation from Aung, the first comment.

The Kokang are Chinese. The Wa (who may well indeed be 'the drug lords', although I seriously doubt the Kokang are totally left out in the cold) are not Chinese.

They are Wa. And hence not a disgrace to Chinese everywhere.

*eye roll*

All Chinese brothers and sisters in S.Asia, your motherland is calling you to come back home to eat dinner!

@S E Asian Chinese:

protip: when people say "this is not racist" they're usually saying something racist.

also, perhaps instead of pursuing policies like the ones you've mentioned, China (and other countries) should implement non racially motivated ones like rule of law, equal rights regardless of sex, race, or gender, etc.

I totally support this calling whether a real or not real as this can boost morals of Kokang, Wa and Kachin (Jinghpo) fighters in Northern Burma. Don’t blame Wa and Kokang for doing drug business long time a go cos if they don’t do drugs what business they should do to feed their army. We care about our people, not the drug users in the streets of London or New York.

My argument here is when Chinese used to maintained none interference policy in the United Nations, in facts they are directly interfering by selling arms to Burmese regime and investment (bribe Burmese officials) inside Burma. I urge all Chinese people to ask your leaders to stop diplomatic shield and help Burmese people to maintain good relation with Chinese and Burmese people for many years to come.

Kachin/Jingpho Autonomous State of China

That age is over, let's live in the present.

"When it becomes strong again, do behave like a great power like what the British did by establishing a string of permanent British possessions like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US, Falkland etc."

Don't you guys see how fringe-crazy this letter from the "Global Chinese-Kokang United Alliance" is? It's a big country here; if I get an RMB penny every time some nutjob puts up something sh-t like this, I would be able to afford Tomson Riviera. Interesting someone feels it's news- and comment-worthy.

Nutjobs of the World Unite!

Its not possible to look at the drug trade separately. Its a result and a reason from a system where a Junta rules. It takes a new democratic (asian way) government to make peace in the whole of the country.
Drug production and trade could not exist without the condolence of the Junta who enjoy the foreign cash being injected into the economy. The different regions need a way to provide for there people, and agriculture is not always possible in a larger scale on hillsides etc.
As I recall then it was Kuomintang who really put drugs into a larger scale

Ridiculous garbage shouldn't be paid any serious attention.

And "S E Asian Chinese" is more troll than he is 'Chinese'.

All the resistant ethnic groups must unite to win the war of survival and to gain freedom, honour ,truth and justice. Otherwisw you are doomed for another half a century.

If the ethnic Minority do not forge a strong alliance and resist the junta military power and achieve their autonomy or independence , they will as said before be under oppression and treated as outlaw citizen under their own land where their forefather live and prosper Indeppently.

The drug trade may be at time use for sustaining their own army, but once they achieve their autonomy or Independence , will go away . as all these Kachin, Chin, Karen, kuki and other ethnic minority came under burma union only after 1948 union of burma agreement.

"...treated as outlaw citizen under their own land"

-I doubt they would mind once they lie "under their own land".

While i support the Chinese Kokang cause. I wud like to see all the ethnic minorities of Myanmar joining hands to throw away the dreaded military Junta's dictatorial grips over the Burmese which has for long- unleased a reign of terror to whoever challenge its harsh policies.
Long live Aungsan Sukyi. Longlive Democracy.

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