The Muse to Lashio Union Road section of the China to Mandalay trade route has been shut because of fighting at the 105th Mile Border Trading Zone in Muse, northern Shan State.
U Thaung Tun, a trader and chairman of Karuna Social Services from Muse, said: “All the trading has been suspended and everyone – the truck drivers, agents, and companies – had to run away.”
Burma exports fruits, rice, and maize to China while China exports mainly manufactured goods to Burma.
U Tun Oo, general secretary of Muse-Namhkam Border Trade Association said: ““Most of the items exported from Burma are bean, maize, sesame, rice, and sugar. China mostly exports construction materials, electronics, machines parts, motorcycles, and electrical spare parts [to Burma].”
Because it is the season when Burma exports fruit to China traders may face losses if the 105th Mile Trading Zone and the Muse to Lashio Union Road remains closed, because the fruit will perish if it is not exported very soon.
U Thaung Tun said: “Many of the products from our side have been ruined. The watermelons, melons, and rice can’t last long. The farmers are suffering a lot. If possible, we want the route to be open all the time.”
Traders from Muse have urged both the Burma Army and the ethnic armed organisations involved in the conflict to stop the war and open the trade route as soon as possible.
Thousands of residents from Muse fled to Jiegao, China on 22 November.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI