China deploys fighter jets along tense Myanmar border

The Sino-Myanmar border turned tense on Saturday as China deployed fighter jets after lodging a strong diplomatic protest with its neighbour following the death of four Chinese when a Myanmarese warplane reportedly dropped a bomb in southwestern Yunnan province.

PTI| Updated: Mar 14, 2015, 15:08 PM IST

Beijing: The Sino-Myanmar border turned tense on Saturday as China deployed fighter jets after lodging a strong diplomatic protest with its neighbour following the death of four Chinese when a Myanmarese warplane reportedly dropped a bomb in southwestern Yunnan province.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned Myanmar ambassador Thit Linn Ohn in Beijing last night, lodging solemn representations after the four Chinese were killed.

The bomb hit a sugarcane field in the border city of Lincang and killed four people working there yesterday. Nine others were also injured, state-run Xinhua news reported.

Earlier this week, the Chinese foreign ministry said that stray fire from a fight that occurred on Sunday between Myanmar's government forces and a local ethnic army had damaged a house in China.

Liu condemned the bombing incident and urged the Myanmar side to thoroughly investigate the case and inform the Chinese side of the result.

He also urged Myanmar to punish the perpetrator, appropriately handle the aftermath, and take immediate and effective measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents and safeguard the security and stability in the border areas between China and Myanmar.

Following the incident, China's Air Force sent fighter jets to patrol the China-Myanmar border in southwestern Yunnan province, a military spokesman said.

The People's Liberation Army Air Force dispatched several batches of fighter jets on Friday to "track, monitor, warn and chase away" Myanmar military planes flying close to the Chinese border, said air force spokesman Shen Jinke.

He said the air force will take measures to enhance response over the China-Myanmar border in order to "safeguard sovereignty of the national territorial air space".

China's concerns rose as fighting between the rebel National Democratic Alliance Army ( MDAA) headed by ethnic Chinese commander Peng Jiasheng and the Myanmar army intensified in recent months.

Peng had reached a peace accord with the Myanmar government which lasted until 2009. The fighting again started recently prompting?Myanmar?to seek Chinese?assistance to put it down.

The conflict also resulted in several thousand refugees taking shelter in?China.

A total of 146 people, including 126 Chinese nationals, were arrested in raids on illegal logging that began in January in?Myanmar's conflict-stricken northern Kachin state, according to Chinese state media reports.

According to state-run Global Times, hundreds of Chinese citizens include jade dealers, gold miners and loggers, were among 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting that started in January between government troops and the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin state, which borders southern?China.