YANGON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Myanmar-China border trade has dropped as an armed conflict hit Kokang region in northeastern Shan state, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday.
The armed clashes between the Myanmar government forces and Kokang's Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) have forced closure of the Muse border trade zone, the biggest of its kind betweebn the two neighbors, although trading through Chinshwehaw border trade point remained open, the Ministry of Commerce was quoted as saying.
Myanmar's main border trade points with China are Muse, Lewjie, Chinshwehaw and Kanpiketi.
According to statistics, as of Feb. 17 in the current 2016-17 fiscal year, trade volume at the Chinshwehaw border point reached 503 million U.S. dollars. Export accounted for 454.806 million U.S. dollars, while import was 48.466 million U.S. dollars.
Renewed armed clashes erupted in Kokang on March 6 after Kokang's MNDAA launched offensive on Laukkai, destroying residential buildings, hotels and military camps with vehicles burned.
At least five Kokang police and five civilians were killed when the MNDAA attacked police posts and residential area in Laukkai. Four traffic police were taken away by the MNDAA as hostages.
The government security forces claimed 20 bodies and some weapons after the attack, and were making area clearance operation.
Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 local residents have fled Laukkai to other nearby towns following the renewed armed clashes, taking refuge in relief camps in Lashio, Thibaw, Namthu, Kutkai and Muse.
Curfew has been imposed in Laukkai and Kongyang from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. since March 10.