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China

5,000 Myanmar nationals flee into China, face shortages

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Some 5,000 Myanmar nationals, including hundreds of children, who fled into China amid an ethnic army offensive in northern Shan state are in dire need of food and water in Yunnan province, the displaced and their family members said Friday.

On Oct. 27, the Northern or “Three Brotherhood” Alliance of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Arakan Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army launched “Operation 1027” – named for the date of the offensive. 

The groups simultaneously struck junta positions in the strategic Shan cities of Kunlong, Hseni, Chin Shwe Haw, Laukkaing, Namhkan, Kutkai, and Lashio, the state’s largest municipality.

Fierce fighting in the vicinity of Chin Shwe Haw at the start of the offensive forced some 5,000 residents to cross the border and take up temporary shelter in Yunnan province, Thet Naing, a family member of one of the displaced, told RFA Burmese.

On Thursday, Chinese authorities transferred the displaced to Yunnan’s Mengding township, where they are now sheltering at a former COVID-19 testing center, he said.

“They said they moved to the vicinity of Mengding and are living in a room there – I heard that it’s a building formerly used as a COVID-19 center,” Thet Naing said. “They said that the entire camp was moved by vehicles last night because there might be another fierce fight in Chinshwehaw.”

Water shortage

But supplies are short at the center, located around 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Chin Shwe Haw, and those sheltering there – including around 700 children – need food, water, and supplies, said one of the displaced, named Ko Sai.

“Because of the water shortage, we have to boil water we received for bathing, and some of us are suffering from diarrhea,” he said. “Many are experiencing health problems and some have fainted.”

Ko Sai said the center is being “guarded by the Chinese police and army,” and that the reason for the water shortage “is because they aren’t allowing donations.”

In addition to residents of Chinshwehaw, other displaced people at the center include migrant workers from northern Shan, Kachin and Rakhine states, he said, as well as Yangon, Mandalay and Sagaing regions.

Chinese authorities have provided the displaced with tents, which can accommodate anywhere from five to 10 people each, he added.

Scant and poor food

Htoo Htoo, another displaced Myanmar national at the center, told RFA that while Chinese authorities are providing two meals a day, “the food isn’t good.”

“They provided us with eggs and tomatoes the past two days … but I can’t eat the eggs and tomatoes served today,” he said. “The tomatoes are spoiled, so I can only eat rice … [and while they have offered pork], many people felt nauseated after eating it.”

Htoo Htoo said that the displaced “are not allowed to cook” and that police had even “confiscated” bread and drinking water he ordered with his own money from outside the center.

Displaced persons shelter at a monastery in Lashio, in Myanmar’s northern Shan state, Oct. 28, 2023. Credit: RFA

Additionally, goods like sanitary napkins “are difficult to get” because of the restrictions on donations, he added.

Sources at the center said that when they asked authorities to get them food and water on Thursday, they were “forced to disperse.”

In addition to the shortages, the displaced said they have mostly been unable to contact their families because authorities “confiscated our phones,” but noted that Myanmar phone and internet services – normally accessible across the border – had been cut since the fighting began.

People at the center told RFA that they want to be allowed to move back across the border to a refugee camp in Shan state’s Nam Thit town, which is under the control of the ethnic United Wa State Army. Barring such a move, they want authorities at the camp to provide them with enough food and water, they said.

Attempts by RFA to contact the Chinese Embassy in Yangon for comment on the issue of Myanmar nationals fleeing into China went unanswered, as did calls to junta Deputy Information Minister Major Gen. Zaw Min Tun and the Myanmar Embassy in Beijing.

Yan Naing, the information officer of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, or MNDAA, said that the displaced “may have difficulty” returning to their homes, given the severity of the fighting.

“Our organization helps to take care of those displaced by fighting to the best of our ability,” he said. “Right now, during the operation, it is quite difficult to … return to their homes.”

Fighting rages on

The fighting in northern Shan state has displaced some 25,000 people since the start of the offensive – around 10,000 in Nam Tit, another 10,000 in cities in northern Shan – including Hseni, Lashio, Kunlong and Mone Koe – and 5,000 in China’s Mengding.

With roads and transportation cut off as clashes raged, residents of Shan told RFA that there is “no aid for the displaced.”

In a statement on Thursday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there have been clashes in at least nine out of 22 townships in northern Shan state, and that the number of displaced persons had reached “more than 23,000.”

The Northern Alliance said that during the eight days of Operation 1027, it had captured more than 90 junta outposts, as well as six armored vehicles. The alliance said it “effectively controls the cities of Chinshwehaw, Hpawng Hsen and Kyu Koke.”

Myanmar junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said at a meeting of his Cabinet held in Naypyitaw on Thursday that his regime would “strike back” against those who attack it.

Translated by Htin Aung Kyaw. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Malcolm Foster.

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Revealing the Encouraged Industries of Hainan in 2024: Unlocking Opportunities

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The 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue, issued by the NDRC, MOF, and STA, aims to boost industries in the Hainan Free Trade Port. It prioritizes sectors like tourism, modern services, and high technologies, offering incentives for foreign investment and market access expansion since 2020. The Catalogue includes 176 entries across 14 categories, with 33 new additions focusing on cultural tourism, new energy, medicine and health, aviation, aerospace, and environmental protection.


The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Taxation Administration (STA), has issued the Catalogue of Industries Encouraged to Develop in Hainan Free Trade Port (2024 Version), hereinafter referred to as the “2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue.” The updated Catalogue took effect on March 1, 2024, replacing the previous 2020 Edition.

Beyond the industries already addressed in existing national catalogues, the new entries in the 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue are based on practical implementation experiences and the specific needs within Hainan, prioritizing sectors such as tourism, modern services, and high technologies.

The Hainan FTP has been providing incentives to draw investors to invest and establish businesses in the region, especially foreign investment. Alongside a phased approach to opening the capital account and facilitating free capital movement, Hainan has significantly expanded market access for foreign enterprises since 2020, particularly in sectors such as telecommunications, tourism, and education.

The Hainan Encouraged Catalogue comprises two main sections:

Similar to the approach adopted by the western regions, foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) should always implement their production or operations in accordance with the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment.

On top of the industries already addressed in existing national catalogues, the 2024 Hainan Encouraged Catalogue encompasses 14 distinct categories and a total of 176 entries especially encouraged in the region, including 33 new additions compared to the 2020 Edition. These new entries predominantly span cultural tourism, new energy, medicine and health, aviation and aerospace, and ecological and environmental protection, among others.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Key Guidelines for Companies in Compliance Audits for Personal Information Protection Standards

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China’s standards authority has released draft standards for personal information protection compliance audits, potentially making them mandatory for companies in 2023. The audits will require companies to undergo annual or biennial checks based on the number of people’s information they handle. The draft standards outline the audit process and requirements, seeking public feedback until September 11, 2024.


China’s standards authority has released draft standards for conducting personal information protection compliance audits. Regular compliance audits to ensure compliance with personal information protection regulations may become a requirement for companies in China under draft measures released in 2023. We explain the audit processes and requirements proposed in the draft standards.

The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) has released a set of draft standards for conducting personal information (PI) protection compliance audits. Under draft measures released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) in August 2023, companies that process the PI of people in China are required to undergo regular compliance audits.

Specifically, companies that process the PI of over one million people must undergo a compliance audit at least once a year, while companies that process the PI of under one million people must carry out an audit at least once every two years. 

While the draft measures stipulate the obligations of the auditing body and the audit scope, the draft standards outline the specific audit process, including evidence management and permissions of the audit organization, as well as the professional and ethical requirements of auditors. 

The Secretariat of the National Cybersecurity Standardization Technical Committee is soliciting public feedback on the draft standards until September 11, 2024. Public comment on the draft measures released in August last year closed on September 2, 2023, but no updated document has yet been released. 

The draft standards outline five stages of the PI protection compliance audit: audit preparation, implementation, reporting, problem rectification, and archiving management. 

Auditors are required to accurately document identified security issues in the audit working papers, ensuring that the records are comprehensive, clear, and conclusive, reflecting the audit plan and its execution, as well as all relevant findings and recommendations. 

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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A Comprehensive Guide to China’s Expanded 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy at 37 Ports

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China has expanded its 144-hour visa-free transit policy, allowing travelers from 54 countries to visit certain areas without a visa. Zhengzhou in Henan Province and eight cities in Yunnan Province are now included. The policy aims to promote people-to-people exchange and requires travelers to meet specific requirements.


China has expanded the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, which allows people from certain countries to enjoy six days of travel to select areas of the country without applying for a visa beforehand, to cover 54 countries and 37 ports. Zhengzhou in Henan Province and eight more cities in Yunnan Province can benefit from this policy as of July 15, 2024. Amid China’s continuous efforts to promote people-to-people exchange, we explain who is eligible for the 144-hour visa-free transit and where in China you can travel on this special entry permit.

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) has expanded China’s 144-hour visa-free transit policy to 37 ports as of July 15, 2024. Zhengzhou aviation port in Henan now offers this policy, with the stay limited to the administrative region of Henan Province. The stay range of Yunnan Province’s policy has been expanded from Kunming to eight other cities (prefecture-level) including Lijiang, Yuxi, Pu’er, Chuxiong, Dali, Xishuangbanna, Honghe, and Wenshan. Additionally, Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, Lijiang Sanyi International Airport, and Mohan Railway Port have been added as ports applicable to the 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

In this article, we explain how this 144-hour visa-free transit policy works and summarize some frequently asked questions.  

Under the 144-hour visa-free transit policy, foreign travelers can enjoy a six-day stay in certain Chinese cities without a visa, provided they come from 54 eligible countries, enter and exit China from eligible ports, stay within the allowed cities and regions, as well as satisfy other requirements.  

To obtain this visa exemption, the foreign national must have a valid passport from one of the 54 countries, which are: 

As per the requirements of China’s National Immigration Authority (NIA), people applying for 144-hour visa-free transit must have: 

You may also be required to answer some questions at immigration control upon arrival.  

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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