Note: This is part of a series, co-written by Yankee Papa and James Powell. You can read part one and part two here.

In early June 2015, China announced that it would hold military exercises along the Burmese border, to include firing artillery shells into certain jungle areas. Though not officially stated, these exercises were likely in response to fighting between Burmese troops and ethnic Chinese Kokang rebels, which is taking place within a few hundred meters of Chinese border settlements.

These clashes, which began in February of this year, have resulted in the unintended deaths of five Chinese civilians and the wounding of many more. An additional cost has been the involuntary relocation (mostly into China) of nearly 100,000 Burmese tribal civilians.

It must be said that China is by no means the victim in all of this confusion. The Chinese government has invested heavily in northern Burma, and the recent fighting has prompted them to put pressure on the Burmese government to enact measures to protect those investments. In turn, the Burmese have been quite unhappy with what they view as a lack of Chinese commitment in joint cooperation to curb the smuggling of Chinese arms into their country, which then move on to rebels in India.