Opium, Rubber, and a Land Grab on Myanmar's Border with China

by Kevin Woods

East-West Wire

Publisher: Honolulu, HI: East-West Center
Publication Date: 8 August 2018
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF


Northern Myanmar's Kachin State, which borders China, has been splintered for decades by fighting between ethnic-based armed rebel groups and the national military. Over the past 10 years, the government has increased control over the region by allocating large tracts of land to private businesses—often with ties to the military or to favored local armed groups—ostensibly to grow rubber. These "land grabs" have often been financed in part by the Chinese government under the guise of a crop substitution program to reduce the production of opium poppies.