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Myanmar – Chinese Companies tighten grip on Illegal jade trade in Myanmar

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Myanmar – Chinese Companies tighten grip on Illegal jade trade in Myanmar

Jade mining has been illegal in Myanmar since 2019 and operations have increased in Hpakant, in the northern state of Kachin, Myanmar’s main jade-mining area since the military seized power in a 2021 coup.

The illegal jade mining is dominated and conducted by Chinese investors allied with Myanmar’s local authorities and Chinese people who are living in Myanmar.

Sources said that Chinese investors seized the opportunity of benefiting from the illegal jade mining due Myanmar’s unstable situation.

Hpakant residents said the investors have successfully cornered the market, selling directly to visiting Chinese buyers they are already familiar with.

They said Chinese-owned companies are still smuggling jade across the border, claiming that most of the jade industry is run illegally.

The residents added the government has been ineffective at reducing smuggling or regulating the industry more broadly over the past few years.

Demand from China fuels Myanmar’s jade industry, which takes the form of a murky web of illegal Chinese-funded companies whose exports are facilitated by corrupt links to Myanmar’s military and its adversaries in the Kachin Independence Army.

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